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Lord Dakshinamurtih

Śāstra-Pramāṇa

(Tap or hover over green words for translation.)

The śāstra says, 'tat tvam asi – You are That.' It does not say, 'tat tvam bhaviṣyasi – You will become That'. When the śāstra says 'tat tvam asi' it is total, absolutely total. It is not even a matter of acceptance; it just points out that you are the whole. Because this is its vision, the śāstra could not condemn you, even if it wanted to!

You are the only satya that is in the creation; there is nothing else, everything else being anātmā, dependent upon the ātmā alone. You are the only one who is self-existent, svataḥ siddha, and everything else is dependent upon the self-evident being that you are. Therefore, you are always totally accepted by the śāstra – at the beginning and at the end. In the beginning, śāstra says mokṣa, liberation, is yourself, mokṣa being in the form of knowledge of ātmā alone. The very starting point, then, is that you are already free, even though you do not know it. Therefore, the subject matter of the śāstra is something that is already established, siddha-viṣaya, and gaining this knowledge is a gain of something that is already gained, prāptasya prāptiḥ, not the gain of something not yet gained, na tu aprāptasya prāptiḥ. To begin this way is very pleasant indeed and the journey itself is also pleasant.

See what happens when you read the pages of the Upaniṣads or Gītā. The mind is entirely different. The words of the śāstra create a mind that is fulfilled, resolved, the opposite of a mind in pursuit. That is why they say that listening to the śāstra is to be done again and again – paunaḥ puṇyena śravanam kuryāt. It creates an orientation. Even though there is only one thing to be understood, and that is the statement, tat tvam asi, the elaborate study of the śāstra is to keep the mind exposed for a good length of time to this thinking about realities. While doing śravana, there is naturally manana. Doubts are raised and answered. Through this exposure you get a certain insight. A certain vastu-jñāna takes place. That you contemplate upon and gain increasing clarity. This is nididhyāsana.

Anu-cintayam – by contemplating. Cintayam means doing inquiry, contemplating, or meditating. Anu means 'according to' the śāstra. Contemplating on the words of the śāstra in keeping with what is understood through the śāstra-pramāṇa is anu-cintana. As a student listens to the words of the teacher, if his mind follows the thought process that takes place, he is doing anu-cintana. The teacher is also doing anu-cintana because he follows the śāstra.

'Bhagavad Gita Home Study Course' Ch.2v18 and Ch.6 Swami Dayananda
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