In the different roles that I have, I do कर्म |
Who is the one who performs कर्म? The कर्ता/doer.
So, the results of the कर्म performed, and whatever is to be experienced will come to the doer. The doer/experiencer is the same person/being.
So, what is the unique vision of this युक्त: (wise person) ?
कर्मण्यकर्म ~ In action, one sees actionless-ness.
The wise person sees that I-आत्मा am अकर्ता~ I am not the doer, I never was the doer.
And likewise, I-आत्मा was never the भोक्ता/experiencer.
And this is not because I used to do a lot, and now I just sit in a cave. No. It is not a becoming of अकर्ता / अभोक्ता | It is understanding that अकर्ता & अभोक्ता is the nature of I-आत्मा |
And to recognize the nature of आत्मा, the first step is to recognize that I am independent of the roles. Because only then I will enquire into the reality of who this person is; this person who is wearing this body-mind costume.
And this is a strange uniform that the जीव has~ made up of blood, bones, muscles etc.; the dress-code for living in this world.
The कर्ता has a great sense of self-importance of how I go around doing a lot of कर्म, performing my responsibilities etc.
The wise person says that the आत्मा (अकर्ता) is the basis of this कर्ता |
अहंकार (the one with the identity of कर्ता-भोक्ता, one’s self concept, one’s sense of I)
अहम् करोति इति अहंकार | So one feels important, because one does a lot of things, and also experiences a lot of things.
The अहंकार is the individual who comes to वेदान्त, but the अहंकार does not stay at the end of the inquiry. The अहंकार commits suicide, in recognizing that all that I claimed myself to be is not independent of ईश्वर or the order. All that I claimed as I, me & mine has been given to me. So, this अहंकार now has some surrender.
Otherwise, the job of the अहंकार/जीव/individual is that one looks at what one is associated with (the body/mind) and says that this is mine. And there is self-preservation, where if there is any slight/adverse comment, then the अहंकार pounces on that person. One reacts in this way because one’s sense of self is challenged.
So, the अहंकार does a lot of कर्म, in the hopes of gaining fulfillment from कर्म |
But, the vision of the wise person is that through all अहंकार-कर्म-कर्ता / the doer, what I am is independent of the self-concept.
So, just as it was understood that I-the person am independent of the roles, I-consciousness-आत्मा am independent of the अहंकार |
And wherever I-the person is, consciousness-सत्यम् is.
It seems as if 3 words are being used –
(i) my role,
(iii) consciousness-सत्यम् |
But, 3 words do not mean 3 entities. E.g. many endearments may be used to refer to one person by the partner- sweetheart, darling, my love.
So, wherever the role is or where my relationships are, there the person is. And wherever the person is, whilst relating or not relating, सत्यम्-consciousness is.
So, what is सत्यम्-consciousness?
It is not a property of the body, because if it were, it would be subject to increase or decrease, e.g. one’s weight.
It is not a product of कर्म | I cannot sit in meditation and consciousness will arise.
Because I am always consciousness. I am that because of which I am aware of everything. I am that because of which everything becomes evident to me. I am that self-evident being. No one’s approval is needed for me to be self-evident. It does not matter what gender I am, what age I am, what my achievements are, or which गुण is predominant (सत्त्व, रजस्, तमस्).
I am a pure being who as though feels enclosed by the boundary of this bodysuit.
E.g. All pervading space, as though feels enclosed in the pot, and thinks that I am limited.
Similarly, during the pandemic, one thinks that I am limited to staying here with this community, I cannot travel/vacation freely.
And then in one’s work situation, there is the great resignation where everyone wants to leave, because there is the recognition that work is not everything, it does not define one’s life.
And one can get consumed thinking, what कर्म can I do to make it all okay.
This is because one is so identified with this limited form ~ the shape of the pot, where the pot is in life (its age & stage), and what कर्म should one do; because I am relating to other pots, and it seems as if everything that I do is never enough.
And it will never be enough, because this is how कर्म is.
But, one can shift one’s attention to- what is the content of this pot. The content may be said to be space. But आत्मा is the cause of this subtlest of matter which is आकाश/space. So, space is really a product.
Then, when we talk of this body-mind complex, भगवान् आदि शङ्कराचार्य & Pujya Swamiji use the term कार्य-करण-सङ्घात |
कार्यम् is a product, करण is an instrument, सङ्घात is an assemblage. So, कार्य-करण-सङ्घात means body-mind-sense complex (BMSC).
कार्य means product not cause. Where the product is, i.e. where the body is, or where the अहंकार/कर्ता/self-concept is, the Self is.
आत्मा is not a property of the BMSC, nor is it a product of any process that one may engage in, nor is it a part of me. If it were a part of me, then it could be amputated.
आत्मा is that which pervades me, that which always is in all 3 periods of time, and in fact is the basis of time.
आत्मा is that which is, even when the body falls.
And आत्मा does not have parts, so it cannot do कर्म | For कर्म, limbs are needed.
So, the wise person recognizes that in all the कर्म that I do, I am untouched by पुण्य & पापा |
But, the body & mind may be touched, E.g. One still has to eat for sustenance.
Importantly, wherever the body is, आत्मा is. But, आत्मा is ever-free.
When one looks at one’s life, one sees that what one once thought was पुण्य, now seems to be पापा, because there is now a lot of suffering as a result of that event. Or, what seemed like suffering, is now a blessing for me in disguise.
If we are able to see that all events that I have labelled as happy/sad, that depending on how my maturity levels are, my perspective changes. One does not have to force oneself to change any perspective, but when one reflects on one’s own life, with respect to how I have been as a कर्ता one recognizes this.
The कार्य-करण-सङ्घात does कर्म i.e. the body-mind assemblage.
When one questions- is this body mine? One initially thinks- yes, of course. But upon further deliberation, one recognizes that I did not create this body with its cells of inherent intelligence that know its precise functioning within this system. Even one’s abilities and achievements are because of the fortune of one’s opportunities. And even one’s intelligence if attributed to one’s parents, were not created by the parents.
So, with a closer look, one recognizes that there is nothing that I truly own- not even the body/mind.
With death, we leave this body behind. And it is interesting that after a person dies, the dead body is no longer referred to as the person, instead, one says- when is the ‘body’ going to be taken to the cremation site.
So, when one enquires into the जीव / कर्ता / अहंकार, it is recognized that it is no longer there. The अहंकार is recognized to be pervaded by the order that is भगवान् and the nature of भगवान् is consciousness-सत्यम् and that is me. So, there is no going or coming for me- no जन्म nor मृत्यु | But, the body & mind will have its own trajectory.
With कर्म योग बुद्धि:, one has grown so big, that things don’t impact one as much. One is no longer dependent on specific things to be present for me to be happy, or for certain things to be absent for me to be happy. This is because रागद्वेष has now been converted to preferences. And I have learnt to be cheerful and relatively happy because I-the-basic-person is a भक्त/devotee who is always relating to the total which is भगवान् |
When one relates to another e.g. one’s partner, one can then drop this role, and then relate to the child. But can one drop the role of being the individual relating to the total? One cannot deny the connection of how this body-mind is sustained by the पञ्चमहाभूत-s. So, the more the basic-person grows into being a devotee, then as a devotee, one can perform different roles. The role of devotee is never given up.
E.g. the devotee may have the current role of taking care of the ailing bed-ridden mother. In this role, one does the पूजा of changing the diapers and offering food to the mother. With the devotee-mindset, the tag of pleasant/unpleasant कर्म drops off, as I recognize that what I am doing is my contribution as a devotee to this order.
So, it is seeing that I-आत्मा am ever अकर्ता & अभोक्ता i.e. never the doer/experiencer, and in all the कर्म that is done, I see this Truth.
This is the vision of a wise person.