Session 18 focuses on how to actively use Vedānta Self-enquiry knowledge in everyday life. Then we learn pursuit of Self-Knowledge is not about “gaining something NEW”, but discovering what is ALREADY PRESENT (praptasya prapti).
We conclude with an engaging Self-enquiry of identifying Satya (Invariable) and Mithyā (Variable) in our experience, and how to know the difference between the two.
- Examples how to discriminate Self / Not-Self using 5 kośas.
Please follow along the class discussion and pause after each statement to contemplate/reflect how the inquired experience operates in your 5 kośas.
Another method is to use model of 3 bodies, asking “To which body does this experience belong to?” (Gross, Subtle, Causal)
Self-inquiry is consistently questioning your experience, no matter how insignificant.
The crux of Vedanta is being 100% clear in the triad of all experiences:
(1) ExperiencER – Subject
Refers to Awareness (ātmā/self).
Can also be considered: Awareness conditioned by antaḥkaraṇa (mind).
(2) ExperiencED – Object
(a) outer experience captured by 5 senses. Eg: tree, cloud, fire, wind, hot, cold).
(b) inner experience. Eg: emotion, memory, thought, epiphany, sense of “I”.
Refers to the cognized experience between Subject/Object interacting together.
This is done by ahaṃ kāra [I-sense]. I-sense is a mechanism which individuates your experience to just you. It's what gives us sense of individuality/separateness.
Above 3 make up our experience.
For simplicity, we can divide them into: Subject (ExperiencER) and Object (ExperiencED, ExperiencING).
For example, there is Awareness (subject) of the these words (object).
Self-inquiry is a process of discerning the subject/object. Until there is total clarity of which is which.
In stage of partial knowledge (not liberated), we mix up the two.
- aprāptasya prāpti (worldly goals) VS. prāptasya prāpti (I am Awareness)
aprāptasya prāptiḥ: (attaining that which isn't yet attained. EG: I'm yet to attain/gain skill how to play tennis).
Getting to something that's not yet created. Or getting to something that's completely NEW (never been done before).
For example if you want a sharp memory, we put effort or ACTION into getting to a state of sharp memory.
All relative-world goals belong to this category.
prāptasya prāptiḥ: (attaining that which is already attained. EG: Looking for pen everywhere. Yet all throughout it was on my ear. I already had it.)
Getting to something that's ALREADY existent. Hence any Action won't PRODUCE it.
Meaning, you have to change Action's purpose from producing It, to DISCOVERING THAT IT'S ALREADY-PRESENT.
This is category of Vedānta.
You're not “becoming Ātman/Self”.
You're just discovering you ALREADY are Ātman/Self.
How? By removing ignorance that's obscuring that already-present Truth.
- Significance of: I know that (I know that Object).
Download visual mind map of this session.