4 – Drg Drsya Viveka (5): What is Consciousness? How to Show Non-Duality (Advaita)?


Lecture 4 continues explaining what is Consciousness or Awareness. How to demonstrate there is only one Consciousness? Meaning my and your consciousness are exactly the same. Consciousness doesn't grow or expand.

Source: Drg Drsya Viveka

VERSE 5: Description of Consciousness

न उदेति न अस्तम् एति एषा न वृद्धिं याति न क्षयम् । स्वयं विभाति अथ अन्यानि भासयेत् साधनं विना ॥ ५॥
na udeti na astam eti eṣā na vṛddhiṃ yāti na kṣayam । svayaṃ vibhāti atha anyāni bhāsayet sādhanaṃ vinā ॥ 5॥
This (Consciousness) does not rise (is unborn) and does not set (is immortal). It does not increase or decay (is immutable). It shines by Itself and It illumines others without any aid.

[COMMENARY: Science talks about origin of reflected consciousness (cidabhasa) when matter evolves in a certain form. But consciousness (sakshi) is eternal, without beginning or end.  It has no dimension or size. It is not confined to any particular location. Consciousness illumines everything but is not illumined by anything else. We need not make any special effort to experience sākṣī, because it is ever-experiencer and self-revealing.  Sākṣī effortlessly illumines the mind by its mere existence.]

  • na vṛddhim yāti:
    • vṛddhi (grow): When we say “Raising awareness of environmental issues”, it’s referring to capacity of mind to know things (dhīḥ). Can go on increasing awareness infinitely, in relative sense. However in this context, cit-Awareness does not undergo growth (vṛddhi), because it is all-pervading (everywhere). Thus it illumines every mind within Awareness (drk).
  • How many Awarenesses or Consciousnesses are there?
    • Only way to say there are as many Awarenesses as body-minds, is if body-mind is final Seer. Let’s see if that’s true…
      • BODY, SEER OR SEEN? From my standpoint, my body is seer, and your body is seen. From your standpoint, your body is seer, and my body is seen. Which means body is NOT the seer, but seen.  Same applies to bodies of animals/insects; it’s dṛśya (seen).
      • MIND, SEER OR SEEN? When you speak, your mind is revealed to me as Seen. When I speak, my mind is revealed to you as seen. That means mind is seen, and not the seer.
      • Only difference “I enjoy a unique relationship with my body-mind”, and from your standpoint, “I enjoy a unique relationship with my body-mind”. Just as we have unique relationship with ONE specific house; thus mistaken as “I”.
    • Therefore, how many Awarenesses are there?
      • If there were many, I would be able to objectify your Awareness (would become dṛśya), in which case, I’d be expected to list out attributes of your Awareness. Such as blue Awareness/etc. But blue/etc are attributes of mind/world.
      • Brihadaranyaka Upanishad [Verse 2-4-5] says, “atmanastu kamaya sarvam priyam bhavati” : “Everything is done for sake of Self; not for sake of other”. Because when I get what I want, there’s no sense of otherness. Since every Self is seeking “no sense of otherness”, then by definition, the Self is same for all. EG: I love wife not for wife sake, but because loving her, puts me in touch with Fullness (no sense of otherness).
    • Why does it seem like there are many Awarenesses? Because one same Awareness is engulfed by many bodies. EG: By birth of cup within one undivided space, cup space seems to be born and individuated. But is the cup-space born? No. Does this cup-frame divide space? No. For example, at point A, it seems like it’s “my space, different from space over there at point B”. When cup moves to point B, now person is suddenly dismissing point A. When you move the cup, are you moving the space? No. When cup is destroyed, is space destroyed? No. Does the clean/unclean water in the cup affect the space? No.  We are all fooled by the obvious.
  • svayam vihāti atha anyāni bhāsayet: Consciousness shines by itself, and everything else is illuminated after it. This implies two realities. To resolve…


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

Recorded 16 Jan, 2024

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