The Hindu, January 16, 2017
Balaki, of Garga gotra, asked King Ajathashatru to teach him about Brahman. Ajathashatru took Balaki to a person who was asleep. Ajathashatru addressed the sleeping man as “Brihan, Paandaravasaha and Somarajan,” the names of Prana which mean “great, white robed, bright.” But the man did not wake up. Then Ajathashatru shook him and he woke up. The man did not get up when he was addressed by the names of Prana, said M.K. Srinivasan in a discourse. In the state of sushupti (deep sleep), it can be understood that the Jivatma is different from the body. But the Prana is constantly functioning. So there is the need to differentiate between Prana and Jivatma. That is why Ajathashatru addressed the sleeping man by the names of Prana. The lack of response from the man to this showed that the Jivatma and Prana were different.
When the man woke up, Balaki asked him where he had been when he was asleep. Ajathashatru explained that the Jivatma rested in the Paramatma during the state of sleep, and all entities came from Paramatma. A spider moves along different threads in its web. Likewise, Paramatma shows itself in different forms. Another example given by Ajathashatru was of sparks from a fire flying in all directions, to show that all entities came out of Paramatma at the same time.
But if Jivatmas rest in Paramatma during sleep, does this mean oneness of the two? Ajathashatru explained why it was not so. Jivatmas have dharmabhuta jnana — that is attributive consciousness. But this fluctuates, because of the limitations of sense organs. But there is no such limitation in the case of Paramatma. He is satyasya satyam — unchanging and unconditional Reality. So Paramatma and Jivatma are not one and the same


Popular posts from this blog


Infinities of being a housewife

The King of Ragas: Sankarabharanam