11 – Drg Drsya Viveka (15-16): Removing Ignorance of Self & Veiling Power of Maya


Lecture 11 speaks of maya's veiling capacity, and it's role in reference to one's ignorance about “I”. Avarana-shakti (veiling power of maya) causes mistake at 3 levels.

Source: Drg Drsya Viveka

VERSE 15: The Veiling Power of Maya (includes V16)

अन्तः-दृक्-दृश्ययोः-भेदं बहिः च ब्रह्म-सर्गयोः | आवृणोति-अपरा शक्तिः सा संसारस्य कारणम् ||
antaḥ-dṛk-dṛśyayoḥ-bhedaṁ bahiḥ ca brahma-sargayoḥ | āvṛṇoti-aparā śaktiḥ sā saṁsārasya kāraṇam ||
The other power (veiling power of Maya) veils the distinction between the Seer and the seen within, and the Reality and the creation outside. It is the cause of Samsara.

[COMMENARY: The second power of maya (avarana shakti) conceals the distinction between: [1] Atman (Drk) and the perceived objects (body, mind, sense organs), and [2] Brahman and the phenomenal universe. This concealment leads the Atman to identify with the body-mind-sense complex and consider itself the enjoyer. Brahman appears as the manifold universe due to this veiling power, but is really nondual existence-consciousness-fullness.  The phenomena is an appearance like silver in mother-of-pearl. Due to this power, the distinction between subject (Atman) and object (senses-mind) is obscured, causing one's suffering in the world. The two powers of maya (vikshepa and avarana) work simultaneously to manifest the perceived universe and conceal the true nature of Brahman and Atman.]

VERSE 16: How the Individual Jiva Arises

साक्षिणः पुरतः भाति लिङ्गम् देहेन संयुतम् | चिति-छाया-समावेशात् जीवः स्यात् व्यावहारिकः
sākṣiṇaḥ purataḥ bhāti liṅgam dehena saṁyutam | citi-chāyā-samāveśāt jīvaḥ syāt vyāvahārikaḥ ||
The subtle body (liṅgam) in close proximity to the Witness (Sākṣin) and identified with the gross body, due to the presence of Consciousness, shines and becomes the individual or the empirical embodied Self (I-sense, doer-enjoyer).

[COMMENARY: Two mistakes lead to samsara: [1] Subjective mistake – Not knowing I am the Sakshi, I think I need external support. [2] Objective mistake – I think I can get support from the perishable world.  The subtle-body & physical-body constitutes the vyavaharika-jiva who is ever insecure due to mortality, subject to time, space and karma. Self-knowledge is: I-Sakshi, lend consciousness to this incidental vyavaharika-jiva. Not knowing this is due to the veiling power (avarana shakti) of maya.]

  • Along with capacity to manifest, maya shakti has 2nd capacity, to veil what is the reality. In truth, there’s only One manifesting as many. But this One is covered for every jiva, thus convinced, “I (senses-mind), am the seer, and rest of the world is seen”. Because of ignorance, we divide what is never divided.
  • Ignorance causes mistakes at 3 levels, giving absolutism to duality:
    • 3 Levels:
      • Jiva-jiva-bheda: I am different from other people.
      • Jiva-jagat-bheda: Individual is different from world.
      • Jiva-iswara-bheda: Ishwara is different from me.
    • These 3 are because of maya’s avarana-shakti. Therefore avarana-shakti makes us see many when there is One. So the whole pursuit is about removing avarana, because the ocean and water is already true, thus missing out something huge. Wave is not producing anything new; just discovering (praptasya-prapti).
  • What difference does it make if I’m in avarana? Avarana is cause for saṃsārasya-kāraṇam, life of becoming. Need to experience pleasure/pain for pleasure/pain sake, not Drk sake. Even if have pleasant-upadhi, still come back. Long as in samsara, there is search to free oneself. When don’t get what I want, one’s smallness is reinforced. Same for higher lokas.


Course was based on [1] Drig Drishya Viveka book by Swami Tejomayananda [2] Book by Swami Nikhilananda [3] Neema Majmudar.

Recorded 18 Jan, 2024

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