Sri Gurubhyo Namaha
These are quick notes for Brahma Sutra Bhaashya (authored by Sri Shankaracharya) classes that were taught by Swami Paramasukhananda, which I was a student of during 2011-2013. What I feel like recording I record. They are not a substitute for live classes, but done as my cogitation.
For other such short notes, check – https://vairaagya.wordpress.com/tag/brahmasutranotes/
The conclusion of Vedanta is this :
You are not a finite human in search of an infinite experience, You are The Infinite having a finite human experience
It is to convey this fact that the Vedanta exists and is being taught.
All efforts are made to understand this only.
Our finitude seems quite obvious. From day one of our lives, we see our limited strengths and abilities, our joy and sorrow, our powerlessness and minute power, our life-span, our feeble attempts to attain pleasure, our successes and failures, our limited ability to consume and control, our relationships which swing between a little giving and mostly taking, all of these seem to confirm that we are a limited being with a limited time on this earth and having limited prowess and will surely experience limited pleasures.
Yet Vedanta comes with the teaching –
These experiences that you go through are fine, they are undeniable. Yet your conclusion about yourself that you yourself are limited because of your experiences is incorrect. It does not hold water on careful analysis.
What your body and mind go through are not proof of your identity. Being their witness, you merely watch these experiences happening.
Of course, it does seem that you have an intimate relationship with the body and mind. However you always have the ability to step back and simply look at what’s happening.
You can simply say – “The mind is sorrowful, the mind is angry, the mind is happy, the body aches, the body enjoys pleasures” – at any point of time, rather than saying – “I am sorrowful, I am angry, I am happy, I am hurt, I am enjoying this pleasure”.
The ability to distance yourself from all your ability is always with you, and this itself is the proof that you are really not related to the body-mind.
The body-mind is like a car for your human life. You have got in the car and forgotten that you are different from it.
Any accident to the car, you feel you are hurt. Any abilities of the car, you feel they are yours. If the car can go fast on some road, if it moves efficiently, you feel “I move efficiently, I am fast!”.
But truth remains the same throughout, irrespective of your conclusions – You are simply the traveller and not the vehicle. You are perfectly capable of sitting in the car and not identifying with it during your travel. It makes your mind calmer and you can be content with your real identity, and simply see the car for what it is.
In the same way, one can ‘sit’ in this body-mind, and see it for what it is. Not oneself. All the experiences can be seen as the experiences of the body-mind only.
What are you then? You are that thing which is, when you subtract the body-mind from your identity.
But when the body-mind is subtracted from your identity, you cannot remain as an individual, for any particular abilities or weaknesses you have are those of the body-mind, and it is only these that define you as an individual. Hence You must be the Unlimited entity. This Unlimited is called Brahman. It is simply the You understand by yourself in a proper correct manner.
There is no need to demand any spiritual experiences to be enlightened because they happen only to the body-mind. You remain the Witness to all of all your experiences, whether normal or spiritual.
In fact, because of your unlimited nature, you are the singular support of all your experiences. You are the screen on which the play of life is shown.
Understanding this is the end game according to Vedanta.