11-17. In case the seeker has no  such experience of The Divine Presence in him and in all names and forms around  him, how is he to get it? That is explained by means of an example of kindling  Yajna Fire, a familiar Vedic ritual of those times. This ritual is called ‘Jnana  Nirmathana’, i.e. “Churning out The Fire of Wisdom in one’s intellect.”

In The Vedic age, every time  people perform a Havan they freshly create the fire to light up the fuel pile  in the Havan Kund. The process of creating this fire is itself a very significant  ritual, and the process is also simple. Sparks of fire are generated by the friction  caused by rubbing two small blocks of wood. That fire is caught by a piece of cotton,  which is then transferred into the fuel pile in The Havan Kund. The process of generating  the initial sparks of fire is the ritual referred to here.
  This process is as follows. Two  small blocks of wood are held, one above the other, with the flat surfaces in  contact with each other. Each block of wood is called ‘Arina’. Thus there is a  lower Arina and an upper Arina. Each block of wood has a hole scooped at the  center, to accommodate a perpendicular wooden rod, which is firmly fixed into the  hole of the lower Arina. The rod passes through the hole of the upper Arina. A  length of rope is wound around the rod and a churning process is initiated. Out  of this churning process arise sparks of fire which are recognized as The  Sacred Fire of Wisdom.

Alluding to this ritual the teacher says “Make  your ego the lower arani and the sacred syllable OM the upper arani, by  repeated churning through the practice of knowledge (jnana nirmathana  abhyasa) a wise seeker burns up all the fetters of bondage.

By the repeated practice of such  contemplation, sparks of the fire of wisdom will arise, and they will  progressively burn the entire rope, which means, all bondages with past karma  and its fruits will disappear naturally.

While the above illustration itself  appears clear, some difficulty may be experienced in the practical process of the  required contemplation. The teacher clarifies by explaining “avastha thraya  prakriya” - an analysis of the three fields of experience of an individual  in the waking, dreaming and deep sleep states of existence. A clear  understanding and appreciation of this analysis can churn out the required fire  of wisdom.

The Supreme Consciousness functioning through  ‘avidya’ (Maya) is individual ‘Jiva”. Jiva, identifying with the body does all  actions i.e., all perceptions, feelings and thoughts arise on account of this  identification. In the waking state it is this Jiva who reaches gratification  through a variety of objects of enjoyment such as wine, women and food, etc. (stri  yanna paanadi  vichitra bhogaih).

In the dreaming state of  existence, the very same Jiva, the very same individual person who was a waker  before, and who is now a dreamer, becomes the experiencer of joy and sorrow in the  dream world, created by one’s own maya guna vasanas - residual effects  of one’s past actions - thoughts, words and deeds.

The difference between the waking  state of existence and the dreaming state of existence must be clearly  understood. The world one experiences in the waking state of existence is a  manifestation of the totality of all vasanas of all jivas in this creation  (which means that any action by any one, anywhere, at any time, leaves a continuing  effect on every one in this creation) whereas the world one experiences in the  dreaming state of existence is a manifestation of the vasanas of that particular  Jiva only.
  Again, in the case of the same  individual person in the dreamless, deep-sleep state of existence, as the  sleeper when all experiences dissolve into the consciousness of total absence  of everything, the Jiva enjoys a kind of bliss in deep sleep, even though the  person is unaware of that happiness while sleeping. We must understand that  absence of a thing is also an object of consciousness. When I say “I see  nothing”, I am conscious of the absence of the thing. Thus, the characteristic  of the deep sleep state is the consciousness of total absence of everything. Being  overpowered by tamas guna, the state of simple ignorance, the Jiva went  to sleep because its body required rest. After a good sleep, the Jiva, the  person automatically wakes up again. Why, because it has Karmas to do. It came  into the world only for the purpose of doing Karma, to exhaust all its  lingering impressions of past actions.


Again, the very same Jiva,  the very same individual person who was  earlier the waker, then the dreamer, and then the sleeper, that very same Jiva because  of its connection to Karma , arising from vasaanas out of actions of past lives  wakes up automatically, and that waking also is   another kind of dream, because the Jiva is not waking up to Absolute Reality,  but it is waking up to this outer world of transient reality, which is only a manifestation  of the totality of the vasanas of all the Jivas in this creation.

Let us understand this clearly: The  Upanishad is telling something very significant. Even when we are awake, as we very  often think so, we are not really awake, because we are not awake to Absolute  Reality. Our waking state is only another kind of dreaming state, where we  continue to be ignorant about the true nature of ourselves.

The Upanishad continues: The Jiva  plays the role of a waker, dreamer, and sleeper in the presence of the Pure  Conscious Being in the three states of existence, namely waking state, dreaming  state and deep sleep state respectively.  It is from that Pure Consciousness alone that  all these amazingly varied beings, in different forms and names in this  creation are born. This means that there is nothing in this creation which is  independent of that Consciousness.

By the above analytical  description of the three states of existence of an individual person, what the  teacher tells Asvalayana is the following: Recognize yourself, as you are, by your  intellect. The waker, the dreamer and the sleeper are simply different roles  played by the Jiva in the three states of existence. The waker is not in the  dream state of experience, or in the deep-sleep state of experience. Again, the  dreamer is not in the waking state of experience, or in the deep sleep state of  experience; and likewise the sleeper is not in the waking state of experience,  or the dreaming state of experience, but you are in all the three states of  experience, which means the waker is you, but you are not the waker,  the dreamer is you, but you are not the dreamer, the sleeper is you, but you are not the sleeper.

Who are you, then? You are that  ONE invariable conscious being in all the three of them. While the waker, the  dreamer and the sleeper are dependent on your existence, you exist in all of them,  independent of all of them. As the waker, you are conscious of all the  experiences in the waking state. As the dreamer, you are conscious of all the experiences  in the dreaming state. And as the sleeper, you are conscious of the absence of  every experience in the deep-sleep state.

That Pure Consciousness in you is  common in all the three fields of experience, in all the three states of  existence. As Pure Consciousness, you are in every thought, in every perception,  and in every kind of cognition, and you are also in all in-between thoughts where  there is no thought, in all in-between perceptions where there is no  perception, and in all in-between cognitions of any kind where there is no  cognition of any kind.

That unchanging, continuous,  unbroken Pure Consciousness you are. Therefore, that which is indicated by the  content of OM mantra, you are. That sat chit ananda svarupa atma you are.  That satyam, jnaanam, anantam, brahma you are. You are satyam- ever-existent  Absolute Reality. You are indeed the basis of all existence, limitless and  undivided Infinite Pure Consciousness, in which all the three fields of experience,  all the three states of existence resolve themselves into ONE POORNA ATMA. That  POORNA ATMA you are. Now recognize That Poorna Atma as Yourself.

It is from That Pure  Consciousness alone, from That Poorna Atma alone, the prana, the mind  and intellect, all organs of perception and action, the five great elements  which sustain this entire universe, all of them are born.

That which is Limitless Brahman, that  which is The Atma, the Pure Self of all beings, that which is The Truth of  every one and everything in this creation, that which is The Abode of this  Great Universe, and at the same time that which is more subtle than the most  subtle one can think of, that which is eternal existence, unbound by time That  you are, certainly so, You are indeed That.

Thus the teacher effectively  points out the identity of Pure Jiva and Paramatma and that the true nature of  every individual person is Paramatma, Brahman. The teacher concludes his  teaching by saying “That Brahman which illuminates the waking world, the dream  world and the deep-sleep world, and also all the infinitely mixed worlds of  existence and experience realizing that Brahman as The Absolute Reality of the Self  in oneself, recognizing “I am that Brahman” one is totally released from all bondages.  One gains total freedom from all bondages.

Here ends the teaching.

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