Excerpts from the book, "The Quintessence of Vedanta (Sarva Vedanta Siddhanta Sara Sangrah)" By Swami Tattwananda. Publisher: Sri Ramakrishna Advaita Ashrama, P. 0. Kalady, Dt. Ernakulam, Kerala State, India
827. In relative concentration, there is the knowledge of Brahman. In deep sleep there is the
ignorance of Brahman. But deep 'concentration at the absolute plane differs from both these levels
of consciousness. (In the relative concentration, there is the knowledge that one is a knower of
Brahman and it is mixed with the ego consciousness. In deep sleep however there is no ego
consciousness and therefore there is no knowledge. That is why absolute concentration differs from
both those levels of consciousness.)
828. An aspirant after liberation should therefore practice in mind both these aspects of samadhi,
the savikalpa ' and nirvilkalpa, and he should continue the practice until all wrong ideas have been
829. When all the wrong ideas have come to an end there are no more obstacles to the attainment
of the highest knowledge. In this way it is that bliss eternal is realized.
830. There are two varieties of savikalpa samadhi one type of it is in association with the
consciousness of the body. The other is in association with the maxims of the sruri. I shall now
explain them to you in this, order, listen attentively:
831. The first type of savikalpa samadhi is that which is blended with the objects of knowledge.
There are faint traces of one's ego consciousness such as the idea of 'I and mine', as also the
impression of' one's likes and dislikes.
832. There is at the same time a realization of the Atman as the unchanging witness, who alone is
the seer and the perceiver of the ‘me' consciousness, and of one's likes
833. One should identify oneself with the Atman, the seer, who does not take part in any kind of
activity, by thinking, 'I am the witness of the likes and dislikes; they are the objects of my
834. It is in this way that one comes to identify oneself with the witnessing consciousness, and
merge in that consciousness all that which one conceives within oneself, such as one's likes and
835. One knows oneself thus: "I '' am neither the body, nor the vital force, nor the sense organ, nor
the ego, nor the mind, nor the intellect, for I am within all these; I am the eternal inmost witnessing
consciousness, who is the seer of the changing phenomena, and I am other than all of them."
836. " I am the eternal inmost witness of the functioning of the organ of speech, the vital force, and
the intellect. I am the seer of all the modifications that take place in the intellect, as well as of all
that which the eye Sees and the ear bears.
837. I am neither fat nor lean neither a child, nor a youth nor an old person. I am neither a one-
eyed person, nor a dumb one, nor I am a eunuch. The inmost witnessing consciousness-that I am.
838. "I neither come nor go; I do not kill any one; nor do I cause any one to be killed. I am neither
a doer, nor an employer, nor a speaker, nor an experiencer. I am neither happy, nor miserable for I
am none other the eternal inmost witnessing consciousness. (He who is free from the notion of
egoism, whose intelligence is not affected by good or evil, though he kills these people, he kills not,
nor is he bound by action. Gita, XVIII. 17)
839. "I am neither a yogi, nor the reverse of it; I am neither angry, nor lustful, nor greedy; I am not
bound by anything, nor am I free of anything. I am none other than the eternal, innermost
840. The fact, is that the Atman is not conscious of anything either within it or outside of it, either
one at a time or both simultaneously, nor is the Atman non-consciousness. Therefore, I am neither
a hearer nor a thinker; nor a knower of anything; I am the eternal, inmost witnessing consciousness.
841. I am not limited either by body or the sense organs or the intellect. Virtue and sin affect me
not in the least. Old age and death, hunger and thirst, grief and delusion -- all these are far from
me. I am none other than pure consciousness, the ever-free.
842. I am neither the hands nor the feet, neither the organ of speech nor the eyes, neither the vital
force nor the mind, nor the intellect. Like unto the universal space, I am that which is all
pervading, the unchanging pure consciousness.
843. The knower of Brahman who knows the Atman in this manner merges all the objects of
knowledge that are experienced by him in the consciousness of the Atman. It is in this way that he
frees himself from all sides for they are but the products of delusion. ( When the spiritual 'aspirant'
realizes the all pervading Brahman as his own Self, his ignorance is destroyed, his doubts vanish,
and the results of his actions become inoperative – Mundaka 11. 2. 9.)
844. Therefore the word ‘Mukti' comes to mean freedom from the bondage of ignorance. In itself it
means the awareness of the Atman: and this may be realized only by means of samadhi, or deep
845. It is neither by the dress that a person wears, nor by, the language. that he speaks, that any
one can attain liberation. Liberation lies in being establislied in the Atman, which is at once
indivisible and conscious. It is only by giving up all ideas of 'I and mine' in as much as they belong
to the adjuncts or the upadhis, and by being established in the Atman, that one might realize it.
846. It is only knowledge that destroys ignorance and knowledge alone confers liberation. That is
why. liberation, cannot be attained by the mere performance of rituals even though they should be
repeated millions of times.
847. It is Only the knowledge of the Self-effulgent Brahman that can destroy all the bonds. When
all, the klesas are destroyed, the cycle of birth and death comes to an end. That is what the sruti
says. (The klesas are Ignorance, egoism, attachment, Jealousy, ardent expectation and the like. All
of them are sources of discord. 'With the knowledge of God, all fetters fall off. Wlth the waning of
ignorance, birth and death cease. Going beyond the consciousness of the body by meditating on
Him, one reaches the third stage viz. the universal lordship. All his desires are satisfied; and he
becomes one without a second. Swat. 1. 2.)
848. It is the absence of the possibility of rebirth that constitutes liberation; and by the destruction
of klesas, all such possibilities are put an end to. That is why, the aspirant after liberation should be
ever devoted to the Atman.
849. The klesas constitute the sources rebirth: for they are the subtle forms of desire. When the
klesas become parched in the fire of the- knowledge of the Atman, they can no longer be a source
850. Just as the seeds that have been parched in fire lose their Power of germination, so also the
klesas which have their origin in thought lose all their potency when once the knowledge of the
Atman has been attained.
851. Therefore, let the aspirant after knowledge pursue it with devotion and diligence, so that be
might be able to overcome all desires and dispel all wrong ideas as to the nature of the Atman.
852. To one who is devoted to the pursuit of knowledge, the observance of rituals is of no use. The
reason for it is that the observance of rituals and the devotion to knowledge cannot co-exist.
853, There is considerable incompatibility between knowledge and rituals in as much a their natures
are entirely antithetical. It is only he who regards himself as the agent of action that can perform
the rituals. But the nature of knowledge is altogether different and it dispels all such ideas.
854. All the wrong ideas beginning with the idea of regarding one's physical body
eradicated, by knowledge. 'It is only as long as one is ignorant of the Atman that rituals have a
place. But the knowledge of the Atman destroys both ignorance and the love of rituals.
855. How is it possible for one to perform rituals while engaged in the pursuit of knowledge, in as
much as they are incompatible? It is as impossible as that light and darkness should coexist.
856. No one can keep one's eyes open and closed at the same time. It is equally impossible to
combine knowledge and rituals. Can one who is looking eastwards see what is the west? Is it ever
possible for one whose mind is directed towards the innermost Atman to take part in external
857. A man of renunciation, who is solely intent upon. the pursuit of knowledge, has nothing to
gain from the. sastras which enjoin the observance of rituals. He observes no ritual other than the
pursuit of knowledge; that alone is his sandhya; that alone is his all in all and there is nothing else.
858. The removal of all the impurities. which the intellect has posited upon the Atman constitutes
his bath. It is only in this way that he may purify himself, and
not by resorting to the use of earth and water.
859. By putting his mind in its real nature, he performs all the Vedic duties that are enjoined upon
him. When the instruments of knowledge and action, such as the karmendriyas, and the
jnanendriyas as well as the mind are all unreal, anything that
may be achieved by means of them must be equally unreal.
860. When one is established in one's real nature and has excluded from one's mind the phenomena
of the world, that constitutes the performance of sandhya, the observance of religious duties, the
offering of gifts and even the taking of one's food.
861. To one whose heart is pure and who has renounced one's all, there is no other spiritual
discipline necessary. It would be enough if one should seek and realize the nature of the supreme
862. Therefore, let the man ot renunciation who is devoted to knowledge give upall other actions
and rituals. Let him be ever absorbed and be established in the supreme Atman.
863. He who desires to attain the goal of yoga and has not yet attained it, must necessarily perform
his obligatory duties. The learned however are of the opinion that such a course is not incumbent
upon him who has attained the goal. ( For a devotee who wishes to attain to yoga, action is said to
be the means. For the same devotee when he has attained to yoga, quiescence is said to be the
means. Gita VI, 3.)
864. The aspirant after liberation who has attained the goal of yoga becomes unfit to perform the
rituals, even though they happen to be of a minor nature. He is as sure to fall as one who tries to
climb up a palm tree while his mind is wandering elsewhere.
865. The perfected person is the wise one who has attained the goal of yoga. He has achieved all
that which has to be achieved. His mind is not turned towards external objects nor can he perform
actions in the external world. Such is the nature of savikalpa samadhi, considered in association
with the objects of knowledge.