Namaskaar. Moving on towards half way through the commentary on Kathopanishat with this Part 18 by Shri V. Subrahmanian. The Mantras get into great detail and the teaching gets subtler but very interesting too.
In this mantra 1.3.1 the upaniShad is teaching about the ‘two’ selves that reside in the body. Though there are no two selves in truth yet owing to the difficulty in discerning the Real Self from the pseudo self the upaniShad is presenting the idea of two selves: one the jIva and the other the paramAtman.
The jIva is busy experiencing the fruit of his action and engaged in creating fresh fruit through his present action. The upaniShad calls the fruit of karma as ‘real’ since the fruit is certain to accrue once the action is performed. There is no uncertainty about this. And this fruit will either be pleasant or painful, depending upon what input has been there while performing the act in the past. Of the ‘two’ selves specified, one alone experiences the fruit and not the other. Yet, since the other self is ‘connected’, ‘related’, to the jIva, the other is also said to be an experiencer, merely on the grounds of proximity/relatedness.
This is explained in Sanskrit by using a maxim: ‘chatri-nyAyaH.’ Supposing a group of four men is walking and one of them is carrying an umbrella. In order to identify that group from a distance, one would say: ‘Look, the ‘umbrella people’ are walking.’ Even though only one in this group is actually carrying the umbrella, one would refer to the whole group as ‘umbrella people’.
Where does this experiencing of the fruit of one’s own past karma take place? The upaniShad specifies: it happens in the body. This is the gross body. But the knowledge of the experience of pain or pleasure takes place in the intellect. The upaniShad says that this intellect is a ‘cave’ in the sense that it is not visible to the outside and also that it is intimately experienced. And it is almost inmost. It is here the jIva and paramAtman are ‘located.’ By ‘located’ it should not be concluded that there is a physical location there. It is said to be located in the sense that the experience thereof happens there. It is indeed the seat of the parabrahman which is the Supreme when compared with all else. Continue reading