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brahma jnAnavali mAlA

Background

There are three aspects of suffering undergone by beings with consciousness. 

The first aspect is they 'realize' (dukha dukha) that they are suffering (unlike those without consciousness). This is called dukha-dukha.

The second aspect is any change (evolution, parinAma) causes suffering. If there is no change, beings get adjusted to the suffering and no longer realize it. But then change and evolution are constant. Every change (be it good or bad) brings in suffering. This is called viparinama dukha.

The third aspect is actions performed by beings to cause prosperity or subdue pain (zam kara) also causes suffering. This suffering is called zam-kara dukha.

Buddhism and many other philosophies of the day recognized these three types of suffering that all beings with consciousness undergo. Shankara offers a solution to alleviate this suffering based on vedanta.

Veda-anta means end/essence/residue or the final jist  (anta) of vedas. Shankara offers this brahma jnAnA as the final jist of vedic scriptures. 

Executive Summary of Brahma jnAna vali mAlA

Shankara  offers this brahma jnAna, the solution for three types of suffering in 21 slokas. In the first 8 slokas he describes what an indestructible self is. In the next 8 slokas he describes how this indestructible self manifests in us. In the next 4 slokas, he offers this manifestation of witnessing self in us as the brahma jnAna, as the jist of all the vedic texts (vedanta).  In the last sloka he calls this indestructible self as Shiva.

From 1 to 8th stanza he describes what an 'indestructible self' is. 

It is detached from worldly actions, uncorrupted by them, ever blissful, beyond the gunas,  with no imperfections (as any attached action only causes imperfection),  beyond all manifestations, beyond all philosophies and forms the basis for all perceptions. 

Hence this indestructible self could only be an observer or witness of the Universe.

In the next 8 slokas, from 9 to 16, he explains that this indestructible self manifests as the witnessing part of self in him (in all beings).

Such a witnessing part of self witnesses like brahman, becomes unlimited bliss of consciousness. It has no parts (no bias), performs or receives no actions and remains in all beings from start. Like the first witness of Universe, the brahman,  that witnesses the pairs, this  witnessing part of self also witnesses the polar opposites in us.

This witnessing part of self solidifies/condenses the true unifying wisdom called pra-jnAna (spirituality) as well as differentiating wisdom called vijnAna (science) in our self though it does nothing and enjoys nothing. Thus this witnessing part of self becomes the base for our self, thought it has no base at all.

With this witnessing part of self the three aspects of dukha can be alleviated. By being a witnessing self like that indestructible self that is the witness of all, that has all desires satisfied and just keeps witnessing, we can overcome the three aspects of suffering by just being a witness.

From 17 to 20 he explains that the jist of vedas (veda-anta) is that observer and observed have different characteristics, whoever manifests this witnessing self in them (the conscience) realizes that like pot, wall etc is simply clay, the entire worlds are forms of the clay of brahmam which is the reality.

In sloka 21, Shankara calls this witnessing self as the light inside, outside, everywhere as Shiva.

Summary of Brahma jnAna vali mAlA

Hearing just one time, brahma jnAnam manifests. Of all,  barhma jnAna vali mala yields mokSa /liberation.

Always unattached self is the true blissful form of self and such a self is indestructible.

Because it is freed from the bondings that could corrupt it, such a detached self is pure and has no form (form comes when the self is tainted with particular gunas).  It is the great blissful form of self and such a self is indestructible.

Such a detached self has no imperfections as it has no bonding and is ever blisfful. Such a self is indestructible. 

Such a detached self is the form of that consciousness, the Atman, the enjoyer of this Universe, that is undivided blissful form. Such a self is indestructible.

Such a detached self is indeed the blissful consciousness form, which is tranquil and beyond all the prakRti (creations). It is eternal blissful form. Such a self is indestructible.

This detached self is beyond all the philosophies, beyond being neutral. It is param siva, flame of all beyond all the mAyA/perception/evolutionary processes. Such a self is indestructible.

This detached self is beyond the various forms, eternally remains as the consciousness that form the basis of our perceptions. It is the form of happiness. Such a self is indestructible.

In me, the effect of mAyA does not exist from body etc. I perceive myself as that self luminating self, which is the indestructible self.

My self is beyond the three gunas. It has become a witness like Brahman. Hence it has become unlimited bliss of consciousness. Hence this self is indestructible.

This self has no parts (united), action less and continues in all beings from the start. It is perceivable form and indestructible.

The witness to the first pairs, immovable, follows the self  of all, is the witness  of all is this indestructible self.

This witnessing self solidifies/condenses the true unifying wisdom as well as differentiating wisdom of science in our self, though it does nothing and enjoys nothing.

The self without base, but becomes the base of all, which has all its desires completed/satisfied, that is the indestructible self.

The three signs/marks of a body that is liberated from the three sufferings is it remains a witness in these 3 situations/states.  This witnessing self is the indestructible self.

There are three aspects of sufferings or pains that all beings with consciousness undergo.

First they realize they are suffering. This realization of pain or suffering in beings with consciousness is the first aspect of suffering. Buddhism calls it dukha-dukha.

How is this pain/suffering caused..? It is caused by evolution or change. If there is no change, people may even get accustomed to what was once a pain/suffering and will not realize pain/suffering after sometime. But then there is change continuously. This change inherently brings in suffering. This is the second aspect of pain/suffering. Buddhism calls it viparinama-dukha.

When pain/suffering is caused, people react. They try to rectify it by prospertiy or goodness causing work. This is called zaMkara or actions that quiten the pain or causes propertiy/goodness.  But the very actions of people to subdue pain causes more pain/suffering as it involves change or directing evolution in a direction. Buddhism calls it zamkara dukha.

How to overcome these three aspects of suffering..? By being a witnessing self like that indestructible self that is the witness of all, that has all desires satisfied and just keeps witnessing, we can overcome the three aspects of suffering.

Observer  (eye) and Observed (sight) are two different things with distinct differences. Observer is Brahmam. Observed/Sight  is mAyA. This is what vedanta proclaims.

Who learns that the real self is the witnesing self and is able to discern/distinguish the self as witnessing self, they are the real liberated learnt prcolaims vedanta.

Pot, Wall all are clay only at the end or beginning.  Same way all the worlds are only brahmam proclaims vedanta.

Brahmam is real. Worlds are false. Life is just brahmam only and not anything different. This is the sAstra gleamed from various vedic scriptures proclaims vedanta.

The light inside outside, in all, light of the light, that arises on its own, the essence of everything is Shivam, who manifests in my self (as the detached witnessing self or sAksi as described above)

Slokas of brahma jnAna vali mAlA

sakRt SravaNamAtreNa brahmajnAnam yato bhavet
brahmajnAnAvalImAlA sarveshAm mokshasiddhaye--1

ஓர் முறை கேட்டால் போதுமே ப்ரம்மஞானம் கிடைத்திடுமே  
ப்ரம்மஞானவலிமாலை அனைத்திலும் மோட்சம் ஈயுமே 

Even once (sakRt) hearing (sravana) time (mAtrena) brahma jnAnam all is got (yato bhavet) brahma jnAna vali mAla  of all (sarvesam) establishes/helps attain moksa (moksa siddhaye)

Hearing just one time, brahma jnAnam manifests. Of all barhma jnAna vali mala yields mokSa /liberation.
asango'ham asango'ham asango'ham punah punah
saccidAnandarUpo'ham ahamevAham avyayah--2

பற்றில்லாஅகம் பற்றில்லாஅகம் பற்றில்லாஅகம் என்றென்றுமே 
மெய்ஆனந்தபுலன்வடிவம்   அகமேதான்  அழியாதது 

Unattached am I (asanga aham), unattached am I (asanga aham), ever free from attachment of any kind (asango aham puna punah); Bliss of consciousness (satcit ananda) form (rupa) self (aham)  only that I (aham eva) is indestructible self (aham avyaya)

Always unattached self is the true blissful form of self and such a self is indestructible.

nityaSuddhavimukto'ham nirAkAro'ham avyayah
bhUmAnandasvarUpo'ham ahamevAham avyayah--3

என்றும் சுத்த பற்றிலாஅகம்  வடிவிலாஅகம்  மாறாதது  
பெரும் ஆனந்த வடிவாகும் அகமேதான்  அழியாதது 

Eternal (nitya) pure (suddha)  liberated (vimukta) I/self (aham) formless (nirAkAra) indestructible (avyaya) almighty lord (bhUma) bless (ananda) form (svarupa) I/self (aham) only that I (aham eva) is indestructible self (aham avyaya)

Because it is freed from the bondings that could corrupt it, such a detached self is pure and has no form (form comes when the self is tainted with particular gunas).  It is the great blissful form of self and such a self is indestructible.

nityo'ham niravadyo'ham nirAkAro'ham acyutah
paramAnandarUpo'ham ahamevAhamavyayah--4

எப்போதும்   தாழ்வற்றிருக்கும்  வடிவிலாஅகம்  நிலைத்தது  
பரம ஆனந்த வடிவாகும் அகமேதான்  அழியாதது 

eternal (nitya) I/self (aham)  no imperfection (niravadyo) I/self (aham) formless (nirakaro) I/self (aham) everywhere (parama) bliss (ananda) form (svarupam) I/self (aham) only that I (aham eva) is indestructible self (aham avyaya)

Such a detached self has no imperfections as it has no bonding and is ever blisfful. Such a self is indestructible. 

SuddhacaitanyarUpo'ham AtmArAmo'ham eva ca
akhaNDAnandarUpo'ham ahamevAhamavyayah--5

சுத்தஆழ்புலவடிவாகும்  களிப்பதோ   அகமேதான் 
ஓர்மைஆனந்தவடிவாகும் அகமேதான்  அழியாதது

Pure (suddha) consciousness (caitanya) form I/self (rupa aham) atmA( atman) enjoyer (rAma) I/self (aham) only (eva) and (ca). wide (akhanda) bliss (ananda) form (rupa) I/self (aham) only that I (aham eva) is indestructible self (aham avyaya)

Such a detaches self is the form of that consciousness, the Atman, the enjoyer of this Universe, that is undivided blissful form. Such a self is indestructible.

pratyakcaitanyarUpo'ham Santo'ham prakRteh parah
SASvatAnandarUpo'ham ahamevAhamavyayah--6

நேர்ஆழ்புலவடிவாகும்  சாந்தமான பரம் பொருளே 
நிலைஆனந்தவடிவாகும் அகமேதான்  அழியாதது

direct (pratyak) consciousness (caitanya) form (rupa) I/self (aham) tranquil (santham) self (aham) beyond (para) creations (prakrti) ever stable (sasvat) blissful (ananda) form (rupa) I/self (aham) only that I (aham eva) is indestructible self (aham avyaya)

Such a detached self is indeed the blissful consciousness form, which is tranquil and beyond all the prakRti (creations). It is eternal blissful form. Such a self is indestructible.

tattvAtItah parAtmAham madhyAtItah parah Sivah
mAyAtItah paramjyotih ahamevAhamavyayah--7

தத்வம்தாண்டி புறமாகும்   மையம்/நடுநிலை தாண்டி பரம் சிவம் 
மாயைதாண்டிபரஞ்சோதி  அகமேதான்  அழியாதது

philosophies (tattva) beyond (atitah)  external atman (para atman) beyond neutrality (madhyam atitah) parama sivam. beyond mAyA (mAyA atitah)  flame of all (param jyoti). I/self (aham) only that I (aham eva) is indestructible self (aham avyaya)

This detached self is beyond all the philosophies, beyond being neutral like param siva,  flame of all beyond all the mAyA/perception/evolutionary processes. Such a self is indestructible.
 
nAnArUpavyatIto'ham cidAkAro'ham acyutah
sukharUpasvarUpo'ham ahamevAhamavyayah--8

வடிவம்பலகடந்தாகும் உணர்வாகியே நிலைத்தது 
சுகம்ஆகும்அகம்வடிவம் அகமேதான்  அழியாதது

beyond vaious forms (nana rupa atita) consciousness (cit) form (AkAra) infallible (acyutah) form of happiness (sukha rupa)  form of self (svarupa aham) only that I (aham eva) is indestructible self (aham avyaya)

This detached self is beyond the various forms, eternally remains as the consciousness/thoughts that form the basis of our perceptions. It is the form of happiness. Such a self is indestructible.

mAyAtatkAryadehAdi mama nAstyeva sarvadA
svaprakASaikarUpo'ham ahamevAhamavyayah--9

மாயைசெயல்என்மீதென்றும்  தேகம்தொடங்கியில்லையே 
தன்னொளியாய் அகம்வடிவம் அகமேதான்  அழியாதது

that (tat) mAya actions (karya) body etc (deha Adi) in my (mama) not exist (na asti) only (eva) always (sarvada) self luminating (sva prakasa) form (rupa) self (aham) only that I (aham eva) is indestructible self (aham avyaya)

In me, the effect of mAyA does not exist from body etc. I perceive myself as that self luminating self, which is the indestructible self.

guNatrayavyatIto'ham brahmAdInAm ca sAkshyaham
anantAnandarUpo'ham ahamevAhamavyayah--10

முக்குணங்கள் தாண்டிய நான் ப்ரம்மம் முதலான சாட்சியம் 
கட்டிலா ஆனந்த அகம் வடிவம் அகமேதான்  அழியாதது

three gunas (guna traya) beyond (atita) self (aham) brahmam etc (brahma adinam) and is the witness of  self (ca saksi aham) infinite (ananta) blissful (ananda) form (rupa) self (aham) only that I (aham eva) is indestructible self (aham avyaya)

My self is beyond the three gunas. It has become a witness like Brahman. Hence it has become unlimited bliss of consciousness. Hence this self is indestructible.

antaryAmisvarUpo'ham kUTasthah sarvago'smyaham
paramAtmasvarUpo'ham ahamevAhamavyayah--11

உள்ளுணர்வாளும் வடிவாகும் நீக்கமற நிறை உச்ச அகம் 
பரமாத்ம அகம் வடிவம் அகமேதான்  அழியாதது

inner (antar) controller (yami) form (svarupa) self (aham) peak (kUta) situated (stha) filling (sarvaga) my self (asmi aham). paramatma form (svarupa) self (aham) only that I (aham eva) is indestructible self (aham avyaya)

My self is in the form of an inner controller, situated at peak, goes everywhere, a manifestation of that paramatma. Hence this self is indestructible.

nishkalo'ham nishkriyo'ham sarvAtmA Adyah sanAtanah
aparokshasvarUpo'ham ahamevAhamavyayah-12

ஓர்மையான  செயலிலாத அனைத்தகத்தே தொடர்ந்திடும் 
உணர்கின்றவடிவாகும் அகமேதான்  அழியாதது

Partless (niskala) self )aham) actionless  (niskriya) self (aham) atma in all (sarvatma) from (adyah) from ancient time (sanatana) perceivable (aparoksa) form (svarupa) self (aham) only that I (aham eva) is indestructible self (aham avyaya)

This self has no parts (united), action less and continues in all beings from the start. It is perceivable form and indestructible.

dvandvAdisAkshirUpo'ham acalo'ham sanAtanah
sarvasAkshisvarUpo'ham ahamevAhamavyayah--13

துருவ தோற்ற சாட்சியாகும் அசையா அகம் தொடர்ந்திடும்
அனைத்து சாட்சி வடிவாகும் அகமேதான்  அழியாதது

in pairs (dvandva) first witness (Adi sAksi) self (aham) immovable (acalam) self (aham) from ancient times (sanatana) witness of all (sarva saksi) form (svarupa) self (aham) only that I (aham eva) is indestructible self (aham avyaya)

The witness to the first pairs, immovable, follows the self  of all, is the witness  of all is this indestructible self.

prajnAnaghana evAham vijnAnaghana eva ca
akartAham abhoktAham ahamevAhamavyayah--14

மெய் ஞானம் திடம் அகமாகும்   விஞ்ஞானம் திடம் ஆக்கிடும் 
செய்யாததும் களிக்காததும் அகமேதான்  அழியாதது

first/true jnAna (pra jnAna) solidifies (ghana) only self (eva aham) differentiating jnAna (vi jnAna) solidifies  does nothing (akarta) self (aham) non enjoyer (abhoktam) only that I (aham eva) is indestructible self (aham avyaya)

This witnessing self solidifies/condenses the true unifying wisdom as well as differentiating wisdom of science in our self, though it does nothing and enjoys nothing.

nirAdhArasvarUpo'ham sarvAdhAroham eva ca
AptakAmasvarUpo'ham ahamevAhamavyayah--15

ஆதாரமில்லா வடிவாகும் ஆதாரமாகும் அனைத்திலும் 
இச்சை தீர்ந்த வடிவாகும் அகமேதான்  அழியாதது

without base (niradhara) form (svarupa) self (aham) base of everything (sarvadhara) self (aham) and (eva ca)  satisfied of desires (apta kama) form (svarupa) self (aham) only that I (aham eva) is indestructible self (aham avyaya)

The self without base, but becomes the base of all, which has all its desires completed/satisfied, that is the indestructible self.

tApatrayavinirmukto dehatrayavilakshaNah
avasthAtrayasAkshyasmi cAhamevAhamavyayah-- 16

இன்னல் மூன்றும் விடுபட்ட  தேகத்தின் மூன்று லக்ஷணம் 
நிலை மூன்றிலும் சாட்சி நான் அகமேதான்  அழியாதது

sufferings (tapat) three (trayavy) liberate (nirmukto) body (deha) three (traya) sign/symbol (vilakshana) situations (avasta) three (trayas) witness (sakshi) I am (asmi) only that I (aham eva) is indestructible self (aham avyaya)

The three signs/marks of a body that is liberated from the three sufferings is it remains a witness in these 3 situations/states.  This witnessing self is the indestructible self.

There are three aspects of sufferings or pains that all beings with consciousness undergo.

First they realize they are suffering. This realization of pain or suffering in beings with consciousness is the first aspect of suffering. Buddhism calls it dukha-dukha.

How is this pain/suffering caused..? It is caused by evolution or change. If there is no change, people may even get accustomed to what was once a pain/suffering and will not realize pain/suffering after sometime. But then there is change continuously. This change inherently brings in suffering. This is the second aspect of pain/suffering. Buddhism calls it viparinama-dukha.

When pain/suffering is caused, people react. They try to rectify it by prospertiy or goodness causing work. This is called zaMkara or actions that quiten the pain or causes propertiy/goodness.  But the very actions of people to subdue pain causes more pain/suffering as it involves change or directing evolution in a direction. Buddhism calls it zamkara dukha.

How to overcome these three aspects of suffering..? By being a witnessing self like that indestructible self that is the witness of all, that has all desires satisfied and just keeps witnessing, we can overcome the three aspects of suffering.

dRg dRSyau dvau padArthau stah parasparavilakshaNau
dRg brahma dRSyam mAyeti sarvavedAntaDiNDimah--17

கண் பார்வை இரு பொருளாகும் ஒன்றுக்கொன்று தனித்துவம் 
கண் ப்ரம்மம் பார்வை மாயமென வேதாந்தங்கள் பறை சாற்றும் 

observer/eye (drg) observed/sight (drsyau) two (dyau) things (padarthau) situated (stha) mutually (paraspara) specialities (vilaksana) observer/eye (drg) is brahmam observed/sight (drsyau) is mAyA thus (iti) all (sarva) vedantas proclaim (dindimah)

Observer  (eye) and Observed (sight) are two different things with distinct differences. Observer is Brahmam. Observed/Sight  is mAyA. This is what vedanta proclaims.

aham sAkshIti yo vidyAt vivicyaivam punah punah
sa eva muktah so vidvAn iti vedAntaDiNDimah-- 18

அகம் சாட்சி என கற்று  எவர் தெரிவரோ என்றென்றுமே 
பற்றற்ற அவர் கற்றோரே      என வேதாந்தம் பறை சாற்றும் 

self (aham) witness (saksi) thus (iti) who learns (yo vidyat) distinguish/discern (vivicya) thus (evam) always/repeatedly (punah punah) that (sa) only (eva) liberated (mukta) who learns (so vidyan) thus (iti)  vedantas proclaim (dindimah)

Who learns that the real self is the witnesing self and is able to discern/distinguish the self as witnessing self, they are the real liberated learnt prcolaims vedanta.

ghaTakuDyAdikam sarvam mRttikAmAtram eva ca
tadvad brahma jagat sarvam iti vedAntaDiNDimah--19

சுவர் பானை அனைத்துமே  களிமண் மட்டும் தானென 
அதுபோல் ப்ரம்மம் உலகெல்லாம்  என வேதாந்தம் பறை சாற்றும் 

pot (ghata) wall (kuDa) at the end/begining (adikam) all (sarvam) clay (mrttika) only (mAtram) and (ca). same way (tad vad)  brahmam  worlds (jagat) all (sarvam) thus (iti) vedantas proclaim (dindimah)

Pot, Wall all are clay only at the end or beginning.  Same way all the worlds are only brahmam proclaims vedanta.

brahma satyam jaganmithyA jIvo brahmaiva nAparah
anena vedyam sacchAstram iti vedAntaDiNDimah--20

ப்ரம்மம் சத்யம் உலகு  பொய்யாம்  ஜீவன் பிரம்மமும் வேறல்ல 
வேதங்களின் மெய் சாத்திரம் என வேதாந்தம் பறை சாற்றும் 

brahmam is true (satyam) worlds (jagat) false (mithya) life (jiva) brahmam only (brahaiva) not different (na apara) various (anena) is the true (sat) sAstras of  vedic scriptures (vedyam) thus (iti) vedantas proclaim (dindimah)

Brahmam is real. Worlds are false. Life is just brahmam only and not anything different. This is the sAstra gleamed from various vedic scriptures proclaims vedanta.

antarjyotirbahirjyotih pratyakjyotih parAtparah
jyotirjyotih svayamjyotih Atmajyotih Sivo'smyaham--21

உள்ளின்  ஒளியும்   வெளியின்  ஒளியும்   எல்லா ஒளியும்  பராபரம் 
ஒளியின்ஒளியும்  தானெழுஒளியும்   ஆத்மஒளியும்   (அச்)சிவமேஅகம் 


inner (antar) light (jyoti) outsider (bahir) light (jyoti) direct or in each (pratyak) light (jyoti) beyond the outside (parat para). light of light (jyotir jyoti) self light (svayam jyoti) light of the soul (atma jyoti) all these are siva (siva) in my self (asmi aham)

The light inside outside, in all, light of the light, that arises on its own, the essence of everything is Shivam, who manifests in my self (as the detached witnessing self or sAksi as described above)

Reference


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