Pratyaksha

The Self is often mistaken for the knower.      

The following Talk of Sri Ramana Maharshi reminds me of the ch'an paradox -
  • First a mountain is a mountain
  • then one studies - a little - and a mountain is no longer a mountain
  • however... finally - the understanding dawns - a mountain is indeed a mountain

D. When all the thoughts are banished and the mind is still or enters into a state of nothingness or emptiness, what is the nature of effort needed on the part of the 'seeker' to have a pratyakshabhava of the 'sought' (e.g. seeing a mango as a mango)?  

...so it is relative and not absolute...

M. Who sees nothingness or emptiness? What is pratyaksha? Do you call perception of mango pratyaksha? It involves the play of karma, karta, and karya (action, doer and deed). So it is relative and not absolute. Because you see a thing now you say there is nothing afterwards (i.e. when you no longer see it). Both are functions of the mind. What lies behind both these assertions is pratyaksha. There is indriya pratyaksha (directly perceived by the senses), manasa pratyaksha (directly perceived by the mind) and sakshat pratyaksha (realised as the very Being). The last alone is true. The others are relative and untrue.

D. If no effort is needed, can the perpetuated state of emptiness of mind be called the state of realisation?   

M. Effort is needed so long as there is mind. The state of emptiness has been the bone of contention in all philosophies.   

D. Is there anything like pratyakshabhava in the state of realisation or is realisation merely felt or experienced as the very Being or Sthiti of the soul? 

M. Pratyaksha is very being and it is not feeling, etc.  

D. Until the seeker realizes that he is the sought the above questions arise for him.

See if you are the seeker...
The Self is often mistaken for the knower. Is there not the Self in deep sleep, i.e. nescience? Therefore the Self is beyond knower and knowledge. These doubts are in the realm of mind


M. True. See if you are the seeker. The Self is often mistaken for the knower. Is there not the Self in deep sleep, i.e. nescience? Therefore the Self is beyond knower and knowledge. These doubts are in the realm of mind. To speak from this point of view, the advice is to keep the mind clear, and when rajas and tamas are wiped off, then the sattva mind alone exists. So the 'I' vanishes in the sattva (oonadhal kan)

Jnana chakshus does not mean that it is an organ of perception like the other sense-organs. Jnanameva chakshuh. Television, etc. are not functions of jnana chakshus. So long as there is a subject and also an object it is only relative knowledge. Jnana lies beyond relative knowledge. It is absolute. 

The Self is the source of subject and object. Now ignorance prevailing, the subject is taken to be the source. The subject is the knower and forms one of the triads whose components cannot exist independent of one another. So the subject or the knower cannot be the ultimate Reality. Reality lies beyond subject and object. When realised there will be no room for doubt. (Talk 500, Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi)

"bhidyate hridayagranthih
chhidyante sarvasamsayah"

"The heart knot is snapped; All doubts are set at rest." That is called pratyaksha and not what you are thinking of. Avidya nasa is alone Self-Realisation. Self-Realisation is only owpacharika [aupacharika*]. Self-Realisation is only a euphemism for elimination of ignorance.
(from Talks; Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai, 1978)


*note: aupachArika - resulting from upacAra or lakshaNa; a figure of speech; secondary sense; an indirect expression; common usage.