Colonial Discourse and the Suffering of Indian American Children Book Cover.webp

In this book, we analyze the psycho-social consequences faced by Indian American children after exposure to the school textbook discourse on Hinduism and ancient India. We demonstrate that there is an intimate connection—an almost exact correspondence—between James Mill’s colonial-racist discourse (Mill was the head of the British East India Company) and the current school textbook discourse. This racist discourse, camouflaged under the cover of political correctness, produces the same psychological impacts on Indian American children that racism typically causes: shame, inferiority, embarrassment, identity confusion, assimilation, and a phenomenon akin to racelessness, where children dissociate from the traditions and culture of their ancestors.

This book is the result of four years of rigorous research and academic peer-review, reflecting our ongoing commitment at Hindupedia to challenge the representation of Hindu Dharma within academia.


From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia
(Redirected from Aparakshanubhoothi)

By Adi Sankara Bhagwat Pada
Transliteration and translation By P.R.Ramachander

Aparokshanubhoothi by Adi Sankara is composed of 144 stanzas in which the the absolute truth Brahman cannot be realized until the seeker the difference between Brahman/Atman/purusha and the things that are apparent in this world. Sankara uses logic to prove that the body is an illusion and that Brahman or the absolute truth is that which is beyond all bodies. He then examines the reason for this illusion and concludes that ignorance is the cause of such illusion. Next, he provides a fifteen step process through which truth can be attained and describes eight common obstructions that are encountered on this path[1][2] [3].

Opening prayer to Hari[edit]

Sri Harim paramananda mupadeshtameeswaram,
Vyapakam sarva lokaanam karanam tham namamyaham 1

I salute that Sri Hari[4],
Who is the pure immortal bliss,
Who is the first teacher,
Who is God himself,
Who pervades everywhere,
And who is the cause of this world.

Objective of Aparokshanubhoothi[edit]

Shankara uses Aparoksha Anubhuthi (Non indirect experience) instead of Prathyaksha Anubhuthi (Direct experience) since most seekers prefer indirect experience and he is trying to motivate the reader to have the non-indirect experience.

Aaparokshanu bhoothirvai prochyathe Moksha sidhaye,
Sadbhireva prayathnena veekshaneeya muhur muhu., 2

The method of direct experience[5],
Which leads to salvation,
Is expounded here, so that,
The good people with little effort,
Can meditate on this truth
Which is taught here for all times.

The three paths of attaining the absolute truth[edit]

Swa varnashrama dharmena, thapasa hari thoshanath,
Sadhanam prabhaveth pumsam vairagyadhi chathushtayam., 3

People practicing the prescribed Dharma of their class,
Can propitiate through meditation, that Lord Hari.
And also attain their desired aim of reaching.
The four aspects of renunciation, wisdom, loss of desires and salvation.

An effort is made to clearly define renunciation as against absence of desire.

Qualities of a true seeker of Brahman[edit]

Brahmadhi sthavarantheshu vairagyam vishayeshvanu,
Yadhaiva kakavishtayam vairagyam thadhi nirmalam., 4

Not having desire on things.
From to Brahma to immobile things is renunciation,
But Indifference similar to that towards crow shit.
To everything is rightly called the purest renunciation.

The sense of true spiritual discrimination is defined.

Nithyam athma swaroopam hi drusyam thad viparree thagam,
Yevam yo nischaya samyag viveko vasthuna sa vai., 5

Only nature of the soul is perennial,
All others are impermanent,
Arriving at such a conviction,
Is truly the capacity for discrimination.

The difference between two types of abandoning of desires (Sama and Dhama) is brought out

Sadaiva vasana thyaga samoyam ithi sabditha,
Nigraho bahya vrutheenam Dhama ithyabhidheeyathe., 6

Abandoning desires[6] for ever is called “Shama”,
Controlling external functions of all organs,
Is indicated by the word “Dhama.”

Renunciation of desires and endurance of sorrows is defined.

Vishanyebhya para vruthiparamoparatheerhi sa,
Sahanam sarva dukhanam thithiksha saa shubhaa mathaa., 7

Turning away from sensual needs is called “Uparathi”,
Endurance of all sorrow is called “thithiksha.

Faith in teachers and mind concentrated search is defined.

Nigamacharya vakyeshu bhakthi sradhethi vishrutha,
Chithai kagryam sa lakshye samadhanamithismrutham., 8

Implicit faith in teachers and Vedas is Sradha,
And concentration only on Brahman is Samadhana

Burning desire to get rid of bonds of the world is the sign of a Mumukshu.

Samsara bandha nirmukthi kadham may syath kadha vidhe,
Ithi ya su druda budhir vakthavya saa mumukshutha., 9

Concentrated wish to know about when and how,
One gets rid of bonds of this world, Is Mumukshutha.

Uktha sadhana yukthena vichara purushena hi,
Karthavyo jnana sidhyardhamathmana shubhamam ichatha., 10

Only a person who has the above mentioned traits,
Should involve himself in such constant reflection,
So that he desires and attains his own good.

Nothu padyandhe vina jnanam vicharena anya sadhanai,
Yada padartha bhanam hi prakasena vina kkachid., 11

Knowledge is never attained without reflection,
Like an object is never seen without a bright light.

How to seek the Brahman/Athma[edit]

Koham kadhamidham, jatham ko vai katha asya vidhyathe,
Upadhaanm kimastheeha vichara soyameedrusa., 12

The enquiries that needs to be done are,
Who am I? how was the word created?
Who is its creator? and with what has it been made?

Naham bhootha gano deho naham chaksha ganasthadha,
Ethadwi lakshana kaschid vichara soyam eedrusa., 13

The hall mark of enquiries is thoughts like
I am not the body made out of the five elements,
Nor am I a mixture of the different senses.

Ajnana prabhavam sarva jnanena pravileeyathe,
Sankalpo vividha kartha vichara soyam eedrusa., 14

The real thought process within us should be,
I see differences between things because of ignorance,
All these differences would vanish when I get wisdom,
And the various thoughts in me are the reason for what I see.

Yethayor upadhanamekam sookshmam, sad avyayam,
Yadhaiva mudhataadheenam vichara soyam eedrusa., 15

The cause for this ignorance and the thought process,
Is subtle and one without second and unchanging existence,
Similar to the clay being the cause of inanimate things like a mud pot.
The various thoughts in me are the reason for what I see.

Aham yekapi sookshmascha jnatha sakshi sadavyaya,
Thadaham nathra sandeho vichara soyam eedreusa., 16

I am the only one, micro existence beyond all thoughts,
I am the knower, the witness, the truth, the indivisible,
And there is no doubt whatsoever that,
The various thoughts in me are the reason for what I see.

The body and the Atma[edit]

Aathma vinishkalo hyoko deho bahubhir avrutha,
Thayair ikyam prapasyanthi kim ajnana matha param., 17

Athma is one and does not have any parts,
And the body is divisible in to various organs,
What can be the worst act of ignorance,
Than thinking that these two are one.

Aathma niyaamanga schaandardeho bahyo niyamyaka,
Thyair ikyam prapasyanthi kim ajnana matha param., 18

Athma is the ruler and exists within,
The body is the ruled and is outside,
What can be the worst act of ignorance,
Than thinking that these two are one.

Athma jnanamaya punyo deho mamsa mayo asuchi,
Thyair ikyam prapasyanthi kim ajnana matha param., 19

Athma is the holy consciousness
And the body is made of flesh and impure,
What can be the worst act of ignorance,
Than thinking that these two are one.

Athma prakasaka swacho, dehas thamasa uchyathe,
Thyair ikyam prapasyanthi kim ajnana matha param., 20

Athma is pure and supreme,
Body is base and dark,
What can be the worst act of ignorance,
Than thinking that these two are one.

Athma nithyohi sadrupo, deho anithya hyasanmaya,
Thyair ikyam prapasyanthi kim ajnana matha param., 21

Athma is eternal and ever existent,
Body is transient and non existent,
What can be the worst act of ignorance,
Than thinking that these two are one.

Athma na sthath prakasathvam, padarthaa yathrthavabhasanam,
Nagnayaadhee deepthi va dheepthir bhathayandhyam yatho nisi., 22

The light of Athma makes us see everything,
But light of Athma is not like that of fire,
For without fire in darkness we cannot see,
But Athma makes us see everything at all times.

Deho aham ithyayam moodo dhruthwa thishtathyaho jana,
Mamaya mithyapi jnathwa ghata dhrushtena sarvadha., 23

The foolish think that they are the body,
Though it is something belonging to them,
This sort of illusion is like a man,
Thinking that the pot always belongs to him.

Real knowledge and real wisdom[edit]

Brahmaivaham sama santhi sachidananda lakshanam,
Naham deho hyasadroopo jnana mithyuchyuthe budhai., 24

The wise say that the true knowledge is that,
“I am definitely not the body which is an illusion
But I am Brahman, I am peace, I am equanimity,
I am the existence, bliss and knowledge,

Nirvikaro nirakaro niravadhyo aham avyaya
Naham deho hyasadroopo jnana mithyuchyuthe budhai., 25

The wise say that the true knowledge is that,
“I am definitely not the body which is an illusion
But I am without change, without any form,
Without any blemish and without any decay.”

Niramayo nirabhaso nirvikalpo ahamathatha,
Naham deho hyasadroopo jnana mithyuchyuthe budhai., 26

The wise say that the true knowledge is that,
“I am definitely not the body which is an illusion
But I am without disease, beyond all comprehension,
Beyond any change and I am all pervading.”

Nirguno nishkriyo nithyo nithya muktho aham achyutha,
Naham deho hyasadroopo jnana mithyuchyuthe budhai., 27

The wise say that the true knowledge is that,
“I am definitely not the body which is an illusion
But I am without properties and without any activity,
I am permanent, for ever free and imperishable.”

Nirmalo nischalo anantha sudhohamajaro amara,
Naham deho hyasadroopo jnana mithyuchyuthe budhai., 28

The wise say that the true knowledge is that,
“I am definitely not the body which is an illusion,
But I am without stains, without movement and limits,
I am pure, I never age and I never die.”

The above argument does not mean that Brahman/Athma does not exist.

Swadehe shobhanam santham purushakhyam cha sam matham,
Kim moorkhe soonyamathmanam dehatheetham karoshi bho., 29

Oh ignorant one, do not conclude because of these that,
Athma does not exist, for it exists in your body,
As something different, blissful and perennial.,
And is agreed to be same as the Purusha by the wise.

Sankara requests the novice seeker to reason and understand this Purusha[7]

Swathmanam srunu moorkha thwam sruthwa yukthya cha purusham,
Dehath atheetham sadakaram sudurdarsa bhava drusai., 30

Oh ignorant one, using the sruthis and your own reasoning,
Try to understand this Purusha, which is beyond the body,
And which is the very form of existence,
Though you would find it difficult to understand.

Again, Sankara brings out the difference between the body and Purusha (Brahman/Athma)

Aham sabdhena vikhyata yeka yeva sthitha para,
Sthoola sthava anekatham prapth kadham syaddehaka puman., 31

This supreme Purusha, which is beyond the body,
Is well known as “I”, but it is only one,
But the body is in many forms,
And so how can “I” be the body.

Difference between Brahman and Body[edit]

Aham drusthru thaya sidho deho drusyathaya sthitha,
Mamaya mithi nirdhesath kadham syadhesaka puman., 32

“I” is well known as, he who perceives,
And the body is something that is perceived,
And so how can both these be same,
Also the body is claimed as mine by the “I”,
And so how can it be the same as “I”.

Aham vikara heenasthu deho nithyam vikaravan,
Ithi prathiyathe sakshath kadha syadhesaka puman., 33

I am never subject to any change by any cause,
But the body is subject to change by age or sickness,
And when this is experienced by every one,
How can both these be same?

Yasmath param ithi sruthwa thaya purusha lakshanam,
Vineernitham vimoodena kadam syadheshaka puman., 34

Having learned about the real properties of Purusha,
From the very holy books of Vedas,
And having understood that there is nothing greater than it,
How can we conclude that both these are same.

Sarva purusha yevethi sookthe purusha samgnithe,
Apyuchyathe yatha sruthwa kadam syadheshaka puman., 35

In Purusha Sooktha it has been clearly told,
That everything that we see is Purusha,
And having read and understood it,
How can we conclude that both these are same?

Asanga purusha proktho brahadharanykepi cha,
Anantha mala samslishta, kadam syadheshaka puman., 36

It is also been told in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad,
That the Purusha is completely unattached,
And knowing that body is having innumerable impurities,
How can we conclude that both these are same?

Tharaiva cha samakhyatha swayam jyothirhi Purusha,
Jada para prakasyoyam kadam syadheshaka puman., 37

It is also told in the same place that,
Purusha is shining and self luminescent,
And knowing the body as inert and
Can be illuminated only from outside,
How can we conclude that both these are same?

Prokthopi Karma kandena hyathma dehad dwilakshana,
Nithyascha thath phalam deha pathad anatharam., 38

Even that part of Veda emphasizing on rituals,
Tells us that Athma and the body are different,
And says that the results of rituals,
Exist along with the soul, even after the death of the body.

Lingam cha aneka samyuktham chalam drusyam vikari cha,
Avyapakama sadroopam thath kadham syath pumanayam., 39

The body is divided as the subtle and the gross,
And even this subtle body has many properties,
Is unstable, limited and non existent by nature,
And how can this body be that Purusha.

Conclusion: The Soul/Atma/Purusha/Brahman is distinct from the body[edit]

Yevam deha dwayad anya athma purusha easwara,
Sarvathma sarva roopascha sarvatheetha aham avyaya., 40

Thus, different from the type of bodies,
There exists the soul, which is Purusha,
The lord of everything and soul of everything,
And though present in everything,
Is different and transcends all of them.

Logic or Tharka Vada asserts that Prakrithi (prapancha/body ) has different existence from that of Athma/Brahman/Purusha. Since they are different and cannot become one, there is no salvation.

Ithyathma deha bhagena prapanchayaiva sathyatha,
Yadoktha tharka sasthrena Thatha kim purusharthatha., 41

Logic, asserts that the body and Purusha,
Are indeed very different,
And emphasizes in the reality of this world,
And that both of them act separately,
And if this so, how can there be salvation?

Ithyathma deha bhedena deha athmathwam nivaritham,
Idhaneem deha bedhasya hyasathwam sphutamuchyathe., 42

Thus thinking over the difference between body and Purusha,
It is concluded that there are indeed different,
But does the difference between them,
Indicate that the body is in truth without Purusha,

Argument to say that the body does not have a separate existence

Chaithanya asyaika roopathwad bhadho yuktho na karhichith,
Jeewathwam cha mrusha jneam rajjou sarpa graham yadha., 43

Consciousness being always the same.
Differentiation does not suit it,
And so like seeing a snake in a rope,
It is not proper to identify it as Purusha,

The body/world is only an illusion and is really the Brahman itself.

Rajjwa jnanath kshanenaiva yadwad drajjurhi sarpini,
Bhathi thadwachithi sakshad viswakarena kevala., 44

In some moments the rope appears as a snake,
Due to the ignorance of its real nature,
And without the rope changing its nature,
Similarly pure consciousness also appears,
To be the whole universe at such times.

Brahman/Purusha/athma is the cause of the body/world/Prapancha[edit]

Upadhanam prapanchasya brahmano anyathra vidhyathe,
Thasmath sarva prapanchoyam brahmai vasthi na chetharath., 45

There is no cause for this universe except Brahman,
(similar to the clay being the cause of a pot)[8]
So the entire Universe is Brahman and nothing else.

Cause and Effect of Brahman and the body[edit]

Vyapya vyapakatha mithya sarvamathmethi sasanath,
Ithi jnathe pare thathwe bedhasyavara kutha? 46

The Vedas declare that “everything that we see is Athman”,
And the difference between Athma which pervades,
And the universe in which it is said to be pervading,
In non existent and the difference is a result of an illusion.

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad says that there are no qualities/properties to Brahman.

Sruthya nivaritham noonam nanathwam swamukhena hi,
Kadham bhaso bhavedanya sthithe chadwaya karana., 47

The Vedas by itself has denied different forms of Brahman,
And once there is nothing else except the Brahman,
How can there be difference between Brahman and the world.

Brihadaranya Upanishad says that the individual travels from death to death.

Doshopi vihitha shruthya mruthyor mruthyum sa gachathi,
Iha pasyathi nanathwam mayaya vanchitho nara., 48

The Veda has found fault with those,
Who see manifoldness in Brahman,
And has clearly brought out that,
That these differences are seen,
By those men who are cheated by illusion.

Brahmana sarva bhoothani jayanthe paramathmana,
Thasmad yethani brahmaiva bhavathethya avatharayeth., 49

All beings are born from the great soul called Brahman,
And so they all should be considered as Brahman.

Bramaiva sarva namani roopani vividhani cha,
Karmanyapi samagrani vibharthathi sruthir jagai., 50

All those having differing names,
Or different shapes are only Brahman,
And the Vedas tell that it alone is the base,
Of all the actions that we see.

Like an ornament made from gold is Gold, That which is born out of Brahman is Brahman (emphasis of Sloka 49)

Suvarnath jaya manasya suvarnathwam cha saswatham,
Brahmano jayamanasya brahmathwam cha thadha bhaveth., 51

Like gold is the permanent thing, in things made of gold,
Because all things were born out of Brahman,
Brahman is the nature of everything.

When you see God is different from you, you fear him similar to a Lion fearing its shadow in the well.

Swalpa mapyanthram kruthwa jeewathma paramathmano,
Ya santhishtathi moodathma bhayam thasya abhibashitham., 52

It is said in the Vedas that the ignorant soul,
Who finds even slight differences,
Between Jiwathma[9] and Paramathma[10],
Lands in a sense of fear

Yathra jnanth bhaveth dwaitham itharasthara pasyathi,
Athmathvena yada sarvam netharasthathra chanvapi., 53

Due to ignorance when duality appears,
One sees the another, but when,
Everything is realized as Brahman,
One does not see another except himself.

Yasmin sarvani bhoothani hyathmathvena vijanatha,
Na vai thasya bhaven moho na cha sokadwitheeyatha., 54

In that state of oneness, everything is identified,
As Brahman and when this is done,
There is no desire, no sorrow and no duality.

Ayamathma hi brahmaiya sarvathmakathaya sthitha,
Ithi nirdharitham srutya brahadaranya samsthaya., 55 

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, which is a part of Vedas,
Declares that Brahman is the form of the Athma,
And it is indeed Athma itself.

When you are asleep, dreams are true and when you do not have enlightenment, the world appears to be true.

Anubhootho apyayam loko vyavahara kshomopi san,
Asadropo yadha swapna uthara kshana badhatha., 56

Though we seem to experience the world,
For all practical purposes of perception,
It is an illusion, like what we see in the dream,
Which becomes a lie as soon as we wake up.

Swapno jagarane aloka swapnepi jagaro na hi,
Dwayameva laye nasthi layopi hya ubhayorna cha., 57

The dream becomes unreal on wakening,
And wakening does not exist in a dream,
And both these states are absent in a deep sleep.

Thrayamvam bhaven mithya guna thraya vinirmitham,
Asya drushti gunatheetha nithyo hyeka schidathmaka., 58

These three states are due to the triad of Characters,
Which are Sathva, Rajas and Thamas,
But the witness behind them is beyond these three gunas,
It is eternal, is only one and is the consciousness.

Several examples are given to show that once we are spiritually awake, we do not see body as a separate entity.

Yadwan mrudhi ghata branthim sukthou va rajatha sthithim,
Thadwath brahmani jeewathwam veekshmano na pasyathi., 59

Like an intelligent one sees clay in a pot and sliver in the in a shell[11],
When one realizes Brahman, he does not see a soul separately.

Yadha mrudhi ghato nama kanake kundalibhidha,
Sukthou hi rajata kyathir jeeva sabdha sthadha pare., 60

Like one calls the clay as a pot,
The gold as the ear stud,
And the shell as silver,
We call the Brahman as the individual soul.

Yadyaiva vyomni neelathwam yadha neeram marusthale,
Purushathwam yadha sthanou, thdwad viswam chidathmani., 61

Like one sees blue colour in the sky,
Sees water in the distant mirage,
And sees in dark,a man in a pillar,
One imagines that he is seeing,
The unreal universe in the real Brahman.

Yadiva soonyai Vetalo, gandarwanam puram yadha,
Yadakaso dwichandrathwam, thdwath sathye jagath sthithi., 62

Like we see in an empty space, the so called Ghost,
Like we imagine a city of Gandharwas on the sky,
And like we imagine seeing two moons in the sky,
We seem to see the universe in the real Brahman.

Yadha Taranga kallolair jalameva sphurathyalam,
Pathra roopena thamram hi brahmandougai thadmatha., 63

Like the ripples and tides, that we see are only water,
And like the pitcher we see is really a piece of copper,
The universe that we see is really nothing but Brahman.

Ghatathmana yada prithwi, patathmana hi thanthawa,
Jagna namna chidabhathi jneyam thathad bhavatha., 64

Like we call a thing made of mud,as a pot,
And like we call a thing made of thread as a cloth,
If we see beyond these names that we attach,
We would really see only mud and the thread,
And similarly if we see beyond the name of universe,
We would really see as universe is really Brahman.

People do not really understand the meaning of the words they use.

Sarvopi vyavaharasthu brahmana kriyathe janai,
Ajnananna vijanathi mrudheva hi ghatadhikam., 65

In the normal practice people use word “Brahman”,
Without realizing what is the real meaning of the word,
Similar to the fact that they use a “pot or a jar”,
Without realizing that it is “clay” that they are using.

The cause effect relation ship between Brahman and the world.

Karya karanatha nithyamasthe ghata mrudhor yadha,
Thadaiva sruthi yukthabhayam prapancha brahmanoriha., 66

Like the, pot is the effect and the clay is the cause,
Is a perennial and ever lasting truth,
The Vedas say that Brahman is the cause,
And the universe that we see is the effect.

Grahyamane ghate yadwan mruthika abhathi vai bhalath,
Veekshamane prapanchepi brahmaivabhathi bhasuram., 67

Similar to earth coming to our mind,
When we think or see a pot,
The ever shining Brahman,
Should appear before us,
When we see the world.

The point of view of the Ignorant and the Wise[edit]

Sadaivathma vishuddhosthi hyashudho bhathi vai sada,
Yadaiva dwividha rajjur jnanino ajnanino anisam., 68

The Athma appears as pure to the wise,
And impure to those who are not,
Similar to the rope appearing,
In two different forms[12],
To the wise and non wise.

Yadaiva mrunmaya kumbhathadwad deho abhi chinmaya,
Athma anathma vibhago ayam mudhaiva kriyathe budhai., 69

Like the Pot is all clay, the body is all consciousness,
The division of self and non self,
Is only created by the ignorant to no purpose.

Sarpathwena Yada Rajju rajathatwena sukthika,
Vinirnitha vimoodena dehatwena thadathmana., 70

Similar to the ignorant one,
Seeing a snake in the rope,
And silver in a shell,
The foolish one sees,
The Athma in the body.

Ghatathwena yadha pruthwi, patathwenaiva thanthawa,
Vinirnitha vimoodena dehatwena thadathmana., 71

Similar to the ignorant one,
Seeing a pot in clay,
And cloth in threads,
The foolish one sees,
The Athma in the body.

Kanakam kundalathwena tharangathwena vai jalam,
Vinirnitha vimoodena dehatwena thadathmana., 72

Similar to the ignorant one,
Seeing ear studs in gold,
And waves in water,
The foolish one sees,
The Athma in the body

Purushatwena vai sthanur jalathwena mareechika,
Vinirnitha vimoodena dehatwena thadathmana., 73

Similar to the ignorant one
Seeing a man in a tree,
And water in a mirage,
The foolish one sees,
The Athma in the body

Grahatwenaiva kashtani, gadgthwenaiva lohatha,
Vinirnitha vimoodena dehatwena thadathmana., 74

Similar to the ignorant one,
Seeing house in pieces of wood,
Seeing a sword in a piece of metal,
The foolish one sees,
The Athma in the body

Yadha vruksha vipryaso jalad bhavadhi kasyachith,
Thadvathmani dehathwam pasyathyajnanayogatha., 75

Due to sheer ignorance one sees,
The Athma as the body,
Similar to one seeing the reflection,
Of a tree in water and assuming it as the real tree.

Pothena gachatha pumsa sarva bhatheeva chanchalam,
Thadvathmani dehathwam pasyathyajnanayogatha., 76

Due to sheer ignorance one sees,
The Athma as the body,
Similar to one assuming everything,
On the shore as moving,
While he is travelling on a boat.

Peethathwam hi yadha shubre doshad bhavathi kasyachith,
Thadvathmani dehathwam pasyathyajnanayogatha., 77

Due to sheer ignorance one sees,
The Athma as the body,
Similar to white appearing as yellow,
To the one having an eye defect.[13]

Chakshubhyam brahma seelabhyam sarva bhathi bhramathmakam,
Thadvathmani dehathwam pasyathyajnanayogatha., 78

Due to sheer ignorance one sees,
The Athma as the body,
Similar to the one finding,
Everything as defective,
Due to the defect in his eye.

Aalatham bhramanenaiva varthulam bhathi sooryavath,
Thadvathmani dehathwam pasyathyajnanayogatha., 79

Due to sheer ignorance one sees,
The Athma as the body,
Similar to the one seeing,
A rotating fire brand and,
Assuming it as the Sun.

Mahathwe sarva vasthoonam anuthwam hyathi dhoorayath,
Thadvathmani dehathwam pasyathyajnanayogatha., 80

Due to sheer ignorance one sees,
The Athma as the body,
Similar to the one,
Seeing things from a very long distance,
And assuming that, they are small.

Sookshmathwe sarva bhavaanaam sthoolathwam chopanethratha,
Thadvathmani dehathwam pasyathyajnanayogatha., 81

Due to sheer ignorance one sees,
The Athma as the body,
Similar to the one,
Seeing things through magnifying glass,
And assuming that things are very big.

Kacha bhoomou jalathwam va jalabhoomou hi kachatha,
Thadvathmani dehathwam pasyathyajnanayogatha., 82

Due to sheer ignorance one sees,
The Athma as the body,
Similar to the one,
Assuming body of water as glass,
And glass as the body of water.

Yadwad agnou manithwam hi manou va vahnitha puman,
Thadvathmani dehathwam pasyathyajnanayogatha., 83

Due to sheer ignorance one sees,
The Athma as the body,
Similar to the one,
Assuming that a flame is a gem,
And a gem is a flame.

Abreshu sathsu dhavathsu somo dhavathi bhathi vai,
Thadvathmani dehathwam pasyathyajnanayogatha., 84

Due to sheer ignorance one sees,
The Athma as the body,
Similar to the one,
Assuming movement of the moon,
When really the clouds are that which are moving.

Yadaiva dig viparayaso mohad bhavadhi kasyachith,
Thadvathmani dehathwam pasyathyajnanayogatha., 85

Due to sheer ignorance one sees,
The Athma as the body,
Similar to the one,
Who looses his sense of direction,
Due to confusion in his mind.

Yada sasi jale bhathi chanchalathwena kasyachith,
Thadvathmani dehathwam pasyathyajnanayogatha., 86

Due to sheer ignorance one sees,
The Athma as the body,
Similar to the one,
Assuming the moon as unsteady,
Seeing its reflection in water.

Evam athmani na jnathe dehadhyaso hi jayathe,
Sa yevathma parijnath leeyathe cha parathmani., 87

Due to ignorance, athma has the delusion about the body,
But this vanishes once there is realization of the supreme Athma.

Sarvamathma thaya jnatham jagath sthavara jangamam,
Aabhavath sarva bhavanaam dehasya chathmatha kutha., 88

When one realizes that the movable, the immovable,
And the universe is all Athman and nothing else,
Everything except the Athman disappears from his thought,
And there is no room there to think that the body is Athman.

Prarabdha, Sanchitha, and Agami[edit]

Fate is divided in to three parts:

That which has to be undergone in this life
That which comes from previous life
a portion in this life which will be transferred to next life.
Athmanam sathatham janan kalam na mahamathe,
Prarabhdham akhilam bunjaanodwegam karthumarhasi., 89

Oh greatly wise one, always try to understand the Athma,
While you are undergoing the results of Prarabdha[14],
For it is not proper to feel distressed about it.

Prarabdha is not carried from one birth to another, if Brahman is realized.

Uthpanne apyathma vignane prabhdham naiva munchadhi,
Ithi yath chruyathe sasthre than nirakriyathe adhunaa., 90

The theory that Prarabhdha does not vanish,
Even after the realization of the Athman,
Is being denied based on principles of sasthra.

Thathwa jnano udhayad oordhwa prarabdham na vidhyathe,
Dehadee nama sathyathwad yadha swapna prabodhatha., 91

With the realization of the Athman,
The thing called Prarabdha disappears,
Similar to things seen in a dream,
Disappearing as soon as one wakes up.

Karma janmanthara krutham prarabdham ithi keerthitham,
Thathu janmanthara bhavath pumso naivasthi karhichith., 92

The effect of action done in previous births,
Is being referred to as Prarabdha in this birth,
But for the realized one does not have any more births,
And so he cannot carry the effects with him any more.

Swapnadeho yadadhyastha asthadhywayam hi dehaka,
Adhyasthasya kutho janma janma bhave sthithi kutha., 93

Just as the body in the dream,
Is an imagination imposed up on us,
For the realized one, this body,
Is something which is imposed on him,
These beings so, how can Prarabdha,
Come along with birth,
When birth itself is being questioned.

Upadhanam is the causal fact and Brahman is Updhanam of this world. Ignorance prevents is from seeing this. Examples are given.

Upadhanam prapanchasya mruth bhandasya yeva kadhyathe,
Ajnanam chaiva vedanthai sthasmin nashte kwa viswatha., 94

The Vedanthas have told that,
Similar to clay being the cause of pot,
Ignorance is the cause of this world,
So if ignorance is really lost,
Where can be the world be?

Yadha rajjum parithyajya sarpa grunathi vai bhramath,
Thadwath sathyamavijnaya jagath pasyadhi moodathi., 95

Similar to the ignorant one,
Seeing snake instead of rope,
Due to utter confusion,
He only sees this world,
Without realizing the reality.

Rajju roope parignathe sarpa brhanthir na thishtathi,
Adhishtena thadha jnathe prapancha soonyatham gatha., 96

Once the real nature of rope is realized,
The snake will not be seen instead of it,
And similarly once the nature of Brahman,
Is known, this world cannot be seen.

The theory of fate (Prarabdha) is for the ignorant one.

Dehasyapi prapanchathwath prarabhdawa sthithi kutha,
Ajnani jana bodhartha prarabdham vakthi vai sthuthi., 97

The body being in this world,
Does not also exist and due to this,
Prarabdha also does not exist,
Though the Vedas speak of Prarabdha,
For the understanding of the ignorant.

The Mundaka Upanishad tells that:

Ksheeyanthe thasya karmani thasmin drushte cha paravare,
Bahuthwam than nishedartha sruthya geetham cha yath sphutam., 98

“All actions of man including Prarabdha,
Perishes when one is able to see,
Brahman which is in the higher and also lower[15],”
Thus tell the Vedas with clarity,

If fate does not get destroyed, ignorance gets never destroyed and spiritual realization never comes.

Uchyathe agnai balath chaithaththadaanatha thad vayagama,
Vedantha matha hanam cha yadho jnanam ithi sruthi., 99

If the ignorant adamantly refuse to know this,
Not only will they get involved in two absurdities[16],
But also forsake the conclusions of Vedantha,
Which proceed from Veda, the true knowledge.

Fifteen steps to attain true knowledge[edit]

The fifteen steps of Yoga which are mentioned in the next slokas are same as the steps mentioned by Sage Patanjali in his Yogs Suthra. But they take an entirely different spiritual meaning. This yoga, following the new meaning, is termed as Raja Yoga and Pathanjali’s steps lead to Hata Yoga.

Tri panchanga anyadho vakshye poorvokthasya hi labdhaye,
Thaischa sarve sada karya nidha dhyasana meva thu., 100

The fifteen steps for the attainment of knowledge,
Is being expounded from now on,
So that profound meditation can be practiced.

Nithyabhyasadruthe prapthirna bhaveth sachid athmana,
Thasamad brahma nidhidhyase jijnasu sreyase chiram., 101

Without daily and constant attempts[17],
We would not understand Athma,
And so, he who is intent upon it,
Should deeply meditate on Brahman,
For attainment of desired goal.

Yamo hi niyamasthyago mounam desascha kalatha,
Aasanam moolabandascha deha samyam cha druk sthithi., 102
Prana samyamanam chaiva prathyaharscha dharana,
Athmadhyanam samadhischa prakthaa anyangani vai kramath., 103

The fifteen steps in their order are,
Control of senses, control of mind,
Renunciation, silence, space, time,
Posture, control of mooladhara[18],
Equal posture of one’s body,
Firmness and stability of vision,
Control of vital breath,
Withdrawal of the mind,
Concentration of thought,
Contemplation on the soul,
And the very deep meditation called Samadhi.


Sarva brahmethi vijnana adhi indriya grama samyama,
Yamo ayamithi sapraktho abhyasaneeyo muhur muhu., 104

With the help of knowledge of the Brahman,
Restraining all senses completely,
Is termed as Yama,
And should be practiced again and again.


Sajatheeya pravahascha vijatheeya thiraskrithi,
Niyamo hi paramanando niyamath kriyathe budhai., 105

Thinking continuously about Brahman,
And discarding any other thoughts,
Is termed as Niyama,
And would give immeasurable joy,
To the wise who practice it.


Thyaga prapancha roopaya chid athmath avalokanath,
Thyago hi mahatham poojya, sadhyo mokshamayo yatha., 106

The abandoning of the universe we see,
After realizing it as the conscious Athman,
Is “sacrifice” and is honoured by great people,
And would lead one to salvation.


Yasmad vacho nivarthanthe aprapya manasa saha,
Yan mounam yogibhir gamyam thad bhaveth sarvadha budha., 107

When mind realizes Brahman and,
Does not have words to describe it,
And this is the philosophical silence,
And is attainable by wise sages.

Vacho yasman nivarthanthe thaduktham kena sakyathe,
Prapancho yadi vakthavya, sopi shabdha vivarjitha., 108
Ithi vaa thad bhaveth mounam sadam sahaja samjnitham,
Gira mounam thu balanam prayuktham brahma vadhibhi., 109

How can we talk about that Brahman,
Seeing which the words rebound?
Even the world we see and feel,
Is due to sheer and total illusion,
And is really indescribable.

So silence is but the hall mark.
Of the wise who know everything,
And such wise and great people,
Ordain it to those novices,
Who try to learn about the Brahman.


Adhavanthe cha madhye cha jano yasmin na vidhyathe,
Yenedham sathatham vyaptham sa deso vijana smrutha., 110

That place which is full of solitude,
Is the place where universe does not,
Exist in the beginning, middle and end,
For there is Brahman which is spread everywhere.


Kalanath sarva bhoothanaam brahmadheenam nimeshatha,
Kala sabdhena nirdhishto hyakanda anandhako advaya., 111

The Brahman which is one and does not have two,
Brings in to existence, in a twinkling of an eye,
All things including Brahman, and is known as time
Which determines and defines,
The boundaries of past, present and future.


Sukhenaiva bhavedhyasmin ajasram Brahma chinthanam,
Asanam thath vijaneeyath netharath sukhasanam., 112

That posture which facilitates the thought of Brahman,
Flowing within, without interruption is the good posture,
Not any other one which destroys one’s happiness.


Sidham yath sarva bhoothadhi viswadishtanam avyayam,
Yasmin sidha samavishtasthadhwai sidhasanam vidhu., 113

That which is always ready and is the support.
Of the universe which never changes,
That from which everything known has originated,
And in which enlightened permanently reside,
Is known as the posture of eternal Brahman.

Moola Bhanda[27][edit]

Yan moolam sarva bhoothanam yan moolam chitha bandhanam,
Moola Bhandha sada sevyo yogyo asou raja yoginam., 114

Brahman is the root of all beings, which restrains the mind,
And this root which controls, should be always be adopted,
And is even fit for the experts of Raja Yoga.

Deha Samyam[28][edit]

Anganam samatham vidhyath same brahmani leenatham,
No cheth naiva samanathwam rujuthwam sushkavath., 115

Keeping the body in an equal state,
Would mean merger with the stable Brahman,
For any other type of equal state,
Would be like a dried up tree.

Drik Sthitha[29][edit]

Drushtim jnanamayim kruthwa pasyed brahma mayam jagad,
Sa drushti parmodara na nasagravalokinee., 116

Mixing wisdom with sight and,
Seeing the whole world as Brahman,
Is the noblest vision possible,
And not directing it to the tip of the nose.

Drushtru darshana drushyanam viramo yathra va bhaved,
Drushti sthathraiva karthavyaana nasagravalokini., 117

That sight which is directed to that place,
Where there is no difference at all,
Between one who sees, the sight and what is being seen,
Is the noblest vision possible,
And not directing it to the tip of the nose.


Chiuthadhi sarva bhaveshu brahmathwe naiva bhavanath,
Nirodha sarva vrutheenam pranayama sa uchyathe., 118

Controlling the waves of thought in the mind,
And making them as Brahman and nothing else,
And not refraining from any action,
Is called Pranayama.(Control of the soul)

Yoga Suthra defines Pranayama as consisting of the three steps of Rechaka (inhalation), Pooraka(holding the breath) and Khumbaka (exhalation.)

Nishedhanam prapanchasya rechakakhya sameerana,
Brahmaivasmeethi ya vruthi poorako vayureeritha., 119
Ththasthad vruthi naischalyam kumbhaka prana samyama,
Ayam chapi prabudhaanaam ajnanam graana peedanam., 120

Rechaka is driving out thoughts and passions of the world,
And fixing the thought in our mind, “ I am Brahman” is Pooraka.

Afterwards, keeping this state still and steadfast is Kumbhaka,
And this is the real Pranayama for the wise,
And not catching hold of the nose as done by the ignorant.


Vishayethwa athmatham drushtwa manasa schithi majjanam,
Prathyahara sa vigneya abhyasaneeyo mumukkshubhi., 121

Seeing Athma in all aspects of life,
And absorption of it in the supreme consciousness,
Is Prathyahara and should be practiced by the seekers of truth.


Yathra yathra mano yathi brahmana sthathra darshanath,
Manaso dharanm chaiva dharana sa paraa mathaa., 122

Where ever the mind goes, it should see Brahman alone,
And keeping mind steadily in this frame,
Is known as the supreme Dharana.


Brahmai va asmithi sad vruthya niralambathaya sthithi,
Dhyana shabdhena vikhyatha paramananda dhayinee., 123

Keeping ourselves independent of everything,
And concentrating on the thought,
“That I am Brahman”,
Is denoted by word Dhyana (meditation),
And gives rise to immeasurable joy.


Nirvikarathaya vruthya brahma karathaya puna,
Vrutha vismaranam samyak samadhir jnana samjnaka., 124

Making thoughts disappear, by first making them stable,
And seeing only Brahman and nothing else,
Is the state of Samadhi and is also the real wisdom.

Imam chakruthri manandam thvath sadhu samabyaseth,
Vasyo yavath kshanath pumsa prayuktha sa bhaveth swayam., 125

By practicing this till it takes you to natural bliss,
And becoming fully under its control by further practice,
This state can be attained in an instant by just a wish.

Sidha Purusha[edit]

Thatha sadhana nirmuktha sidho bhavathi yogirat,
Thath swaroopam na chaithasya vishayo manaso girm., 126

The king of Yogis, who has attained perfection,
Gets free from the need of all practices,
And his form would then go beyond,
The thought and mind of everyone.

Eight Road Blocks and their Removal[edit]

Samadhou kriyamano thu vignani ayanthi vai bhalath,
Anusandhana rahithyam aalasyam bhoga lalasam., 127
Layasthamscha vikshepo rasasvadascha soonyatha,
Yevam yad vigna bahulyam thyajyam brahavida sanai., 128

Strong roadblocks come naturally to put an end to Samadhi,
And they are, absence of constant attention, laziness,
Desire for sensual pleasures, sleep, dark dull periods,
Distraction of thoughts, enjoyment of pleasures,
Emptiness of thought and all these and others should,
Be kept away by, one desiring the knowledge of Brahman.

The complete man needs to fill his thought with Brahman.

Bhava vruthya hi bhavathwam, soonya vruthyahi soonyatha,
Brahma vruthya hi poornathwam, thadha poornathwam abhyaseth., 129

We become what is in our mind,
And an empty mind leads us to emptiness,
So the mind should be full of thought of Brahman,
And this leads one to perfection in what we practice.

Those who do not think of Brahman are as good as animals.

Ye hi vruthim jahathyenam brahmakhyam pavanim paraam,
Vrudhaiva they thu jeevanthi pasubhischa sama nara., 130

Those who give up this ennobling thought of Brahman,
Live in vain and are men who are same as beasts.

Those who think and search for Brahman are extremely noble.

Ye hi vruthim vijananthi jnathwapi vardhayanthi ye,
They vai sath purusha, dhanya vandhyasthe bhuvana thraye., 131

Those who at first have this enobling thought of Brahman,
And grow with it are good people and,
Are fit to be worshipped by the three worlds.

Brahman should be directly experience and not quibbled about.

Yesham vruthi sama vrudha paripakwa cha saa puna,
They vai sad brahmatham praptha nethare shabdha vadhina., 132

Those in whom the consciousness of Brahman attains its maturity,
Easily attain the state of ever existent Brahman,
And not those who argue with words indicating Brahman.

Those who not realize Brahman but talk as if they are experts are detestable.

Kusala brahma varthayam vruthiheena suragina,
They apya jnana thya noonam punarayanthi yanthi cha., 133

Those who are experts in the discussions of Brahman,
With no realization and are interested in pleasures,
Are born to die again, due to their ignorance.

Those savants in search of Brahman will always think of Brahman.

Nimeshardha na thishtanthi vruthim brahma mayim vinaa,
Yada thishtanthi brahmadhya sanakadhya shukadhaya., 134

Those who seek Brahman, should not.
Be without thought of Brahman,
Even for a moment and would be like,
Sages like Brahma, Sanaka and Shukha.

If there is an effect, there should be a cause and not vice versa.

Karya karanatha aayatha karane nahi karyatha,
Karanathwam thatho gacheth karya bhava vicharatha., 135

If there is an effect there is a cause for it,
But if there is a cause, there need not be an effect,
And so logical thinking leads to the conclusion,
That if there is no effect, there is no cause either.

The only truth in the world is Brahman and nothing else.

Adha shudham bhaved vasthu yadvai vachamagocharam,
Drushtavyam muudh ghatenaiva drushtanthena puna puna., 136

Then the pure reality, which is beyond,
Speech alone remains, similar to the clay,
Being the cause for many things like pot,
And we can realize that Brahman,
Is beyond words and thought.

The seekers of Brahman become one with Brahman.

Anenaiva prakarena vruthir brahmathmika bhaveth,
Udhethi shuddha chithanam, vruthi jnanam ththa param., 137

Thinking like this, those pure in thought,
Would be aware of the state of Brahman,
And they would eventually,
Get merged in Brahman itself.

The negative argument to prove the existence of Brahman.

Karnam vyathi rekena puman aadhou vilokayeth,
Anvayena punasthadhi karyo nithyam prapasyathi., 138

By the negative logical thought,
First conclude that, if there is no effect called the world,
There is no cause called Brahman,
But the world is seen to exist,
And so by positive thought,
Brahman also should exist.

First see the effect, search for the cause and leave out the effect but do not conclude nothing exists.

Karye hi karanam payeth, pachath karya visarjayeth,
Karanathwam ththo gached avasishtam bhaveth muni., 139

One should first see, cause in the effect,
And then dismiss the effect all together,
And such a sage becomes that which is remaining.

Absolute concentrated meditation on anything makes us to become that thing.

Bhavitham theevra vegena yadvasthu nischayathmana,
Puman sthadvi bhaved seegram jneyam brhamara keeta vath., 140

Like a wasp,over time and with effort becomes a worm,
That man who steadfastly and with conviction,
Thinks about anything, Will become that thing itself.
See the visible, derive the invisible and realize Brahman.(next two slokas)

Adrusyam bhava roopancha sarvameva chidathmakam,
Savadhana thaya nithyam swathmanam bhavayed budha., 141

The wise one with great care should think.
Of the visible, invisible and everything else,
As his own self, which is the real Athman.

Drusyam hyadrusyatham brahmakarena chinthayeth,
Vidwan nithya sukhe thishted vidhya chidhra sapoornaya., 142

The wise one should think of the World that is visible,
As the principle of Brahman which is not visible,
Then his mind would be full of the everlasting joy,
And he would exist in the pleasurable state of joy.

Yebhir aangai samayuktho raja yoga udhahrutha,
Kinchid pakwa kashayaanaam hata yogena samyutha., 143

This knowledge with above aspects is Raja Yoga,
Is fit only for those the stable minded wise,
And should learn this mixed with hata yoga,
Which is for those who have not attained maturity.

The devotion to God and teacher is essential sine qua non.

Paripakwam mano yesham kevaloyam cha sidhidha,
Guru daiwatha bhakthanam sarvesham sulabho bhaved., 144

For those with a pure mind, only this method,
Would lead them to perfection and those,
Who are devoted to their teacher and the God,
This can be achieved without much effort.

Notes and References[edit]

  1. Aparokshanubhoothi translated into English by Swami Vimukthananda, originally published by Advaitha Ashram, Calcutta
  2. Aparokshanubhoothi translated into Tamil and English commentary PDF
  3. Aparokshanubhoothi with tamil commentary and translation by Sri. “Navarathnamala” M.K.Venkatraman, published by Giri Traders, Madras.
  4. Killer of illusion
  5. Non indirect personal experience
  6. desire to enjoy based on previous experience.
  7. ;Purusha: Synonym for Athman/Brahman.
  8. interpolation by the author for clear understanding
  9. ;Jiwathma:Individual Soul
  10. ;Paramathma:Brahman
  11. Mother of pearl
  12. As rope or snake
  13. yellow jaundice.
  14. Can be loosely translated as fate but is really something we carry with us as a result of our actions in various births.
  15. Cause and effect
  16. negation of Brahman and its realization.
  17. Of these fifteen steps.
  18. The point controlling senses.
  19. Yoga Suthra defines “Yama” as control of senses
  20. Yoga Suthra defines “Niyama as the control of the mind.”
  21. Yoga Suthra defines “Thyaga “ as sacrifice.
  22. Yoga Suthra defines “Mouna” as deep silence.The next three slokas gives the revised definition.
  23. Yoga Suthra defines “Desa” as the peaceful, calm place to do meditation.
  24. Yoga Suthra defines “Kala” as the proper time to practice Yoga.
  25. Yoga Suthra defines “Asana” as the proper posture for doing Yoga.
  26. Yoga Suthra mentions “Sidhasana”(one of the Asanas) as the ultimate posture to mediate.
  27. Yoga Suthra mentions “Moola Bhanda” as the control of the roots for passion which exist in the mooladhara.
  28. Yoga Suthra defines “Deha samyam” as the equipoise state of the body.
  29. Yoga Suthra defines “Drik Sthithi” as concentrating the eye sight on the tip of the nose. The next two slokas define the spiritual “state of sight”.
  30. Yoga Suthra defines “Pranayama” as a series of breathing exercises meant to control the mind. The next three slokas deal with this step.
  31. Yoga Suthra defines “Prathyahara” as the process of redirecting and concentrating the sense organs from their normal role in to the mind.
  32. Yoga Suthra defines “Dharana” as complete understanding of a thing with concentrated mind.
  33. Yoga Suthra defines “Dhyama” is unifying of the mind without ant other insertion, similar to the rain of oil
  34. Yoga Suthra defines “Samadhi” as the acme of meditation. In this state the thought processes vanish and we would become Athma personified. The next two slokas relate to this great state.