Bhagavad-Gita: 18 Chapters in Sanskrit
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Bhagavadgita Pages in English, Chapters 1 to 18
Prepared by V.Krishnaraj
This write-up is based on the book, Advaita and Vistadvaita by Srinivasa Chari.
The legend says that the image on your right of Desikan was cast by himself in his likeness and is worshipped even today in the Temple in Tiruvahindrapuram in Tamil Nadu.
Vedanta Desikan (1268 CE – 1369 CE) was born in Himavanam, near Conjeevaram, present Tamil Nadu in 1268 C.E. in a devout Vaishnava family. His greatness for pervasive knowledge was apparent, when he turned twenty years of age. He was beating down on and mauled his opponents in his debates so much so that the the opponents converted to his philosophy. That earned him the name, "the lion of poets and logicians". He was a scholar and spurned wealth. He lived by receiving alms on the streets. Gold coins (mixed with rice) given by well-meaning people were promptly tossed out by Desikan. He lived by what he preached. He defined Vishistadvaita as promulgated by Ramanujacharya. He wrote many works on a multiplicity of subjects. The Satadusani is a critical elaboration of doctrine of Advaita Vedanta. Rahasyatraya-Sara, regarded as the masterpiece of Desika, expounds Visistadvaita philosophy in a lucid style. Paduka-Sahasra eulogizes the Holy footwear of Lord of Srirangam, Sriranganatha of Srirangam Temple.
Nathamuni (late 9th or early 10th century) collected, collated and compiled Nalayira Divyaprabhandam. He was opposed to emphasis on Jnana Yoga by Advaitins and Rituals by Mimamsakas. The Mayavadas were running amuck to the distaste of Vaishnavas saying that Vedanta was Mayavada. Then came along Ramanuja (1017-1137). He was a brilliant student and an adept in Vedic studies. He married at 16 years of age to placate his mother and moved to Kanchipuram to study under Yadava Prakasa, a doyen of Advaita philosophy. The teacher and the pupil did not see eye to eye on the nondual interpretation of Upanishads and Ramanuja promptly expressed his disagreement with Yadava Prakasa, who tried to kill his pupil but did not succeed. In the mean time, Alavandar was keenly keeping a tab on Ramanuja and knowing that his end was near sent a word to Ramanuja to visit him. Before Ramanuja could reach Srirangam, Alavandar died. Ramanuja arrived at Srirangam only to learn of his death and saw his right palm with three fingers closed, which was attributed to three unfinished tasks. One task was to write a commentary on Vedanta Sutras, which Ramanuja undertook with great fervor. Soon thereafter, Ramanuja sent his wife home to her parents and became a Sannyasi. Around this time only the philosophy of Visistadvaita (modified nondualism) was born along with a mutt near the temple in Srirangam. He introduced Bhakti as a Marga within Vedic tradition. Sankara, Advaitins, and their followers were declared philosophical aliens. Thiebaut's support of commentary and interpretation of Vedanta Sutras brought some rancorous ire from Advaitins and supporters of Monistic philosophy of Sankara. Sankara was said to be Vedic Constructionist, while Ramanuja was a seeker of human liberation. To Sankara, Reality is one and simple. To Ramanuja Reality is one and complex: Isvara, Cit and Acit ( Brahman, finite selves, and Matter).
Satadusani by Desika takes up one hundred philosophical issues for critical analysis. The target is the doctrines of Advaita Vedanta. At the outset Sankara and his philosophical cohorts come under the cross hairs of Desika. Desika takes up the position of the opponent (Purvapaksa) as the opening statement. Desika trucks through the logical loopholes, shoots the opponents down and catches the contradictions by the nape of the neck which he wrings adroitly. Thus he clears the underbrush of pesky erroneous theories of opponents and thereby makes his position stand on terra firma. This process is called VAda, whereby the protagonist causes destruction of weeds of erroneous philosophy and establishes (construction) a fertile flower bed of his philosophy. The stance of VAda is unlike Jalpa and Vitanda. Jalpa (செற்பை = wrangling) entails dictatorial dialectics, emphasizing on winning the opponent debater on pointless disputation, "quibbles, futilities and other processes which deserve rebuke." Vitanda (விதண்டை = idle objections; Caviling = trivial objections) is winning a disputation by advancing frivolous and perverse arguments with emphasis on drowning the loud uproar of the opponent. "It is mere attacks on the opponent." In Jalpa and Vitanda, the truth is scarified and sacrificed on the alter of debate forum, simply to establish a front as a debater. It is more psychological than sapient. There is more heat than light in Jalpa and Vitanda and mostly light and very little heat in VAda. In Jalpa and Vitanda, captious arguments may be used. Desika establishes the validity of Satadusani by embracing VAda Grantha as the terra firma of Visitadvaita VedAnta. VAda Grantha is a sword rather than a defensive shield on the fencing platform of debate.
விதண்டை = Vitanda = Cavil, captious objection; idle objections against another's statement without attempting to disprove them and establishing one's own position.
செற்பை = Jalpa. A form of polemical discussion, the aim of which is victory over opponents.
In the passage below, all the Tamil entries are my input.
Vaadam (வாதம்) is the dialogue between guru and sisya or between those with like objectives and without basis. By their arguments the errors are eliminated and truth deduced. Cerpai (செற்பை = jalpa) is the method of refuting the other’s view and establishing ones own beyond doubt. Vitandai (விதண்டை = wrangling) is the method of refuting the other’s view without the necessity to establish one’s own and thus achieve the purpose. Hetu is logic (அளவை = alavai) by using vinai (வினை), payan (பயன்), mei (மெய்) and uru (உறு). Vitharam or Vada (வாதம் = debate) consists of cerpai, vitandi and hetu and they may be called argument ( or logic), wrangling ( or sophistry), cavil, ( or destructive argument) and reason respectively. --http://www.geocities.com/shivaperuman/sankarpanirakaranam.html
|Bhagavan Krishna says:
O Arjuna, of sciences (I am) the
science of self (Universal
and individual). Of those who argue, I am the right argument
Bhagavadgita: Comment on Vada by Sridhara Swami Verse 10.32, page 420-421. Sanskrit Commentary by Sankaracharya and translation by Ghambhirananda.
Vāda: Discussion with open-mindedness, with a view to determining true purport; Jalpa: Pointless debate; Vitaṇdā: wrangling discussion. [Jalpa is that mode of debate by which both parties establish their own viewpoint through direct and indirect proofs, and refute the view of the opponent through circumvention (Chala) and false generalization (Jāti) and by pointing out unfitness of the opponent to be argued with (Nigraha-sthāna). But where one party establishes his viewpoint, and the other refutes it through circumvention, false generalization showing the unfitness of the opponent to be argued with, without establishing his own views, that is termed Vitaṇdā. Jalpa and Vitaṇdā result only in a trial of strength between the opponents, who are both desirous of victory. But the result of Vāda is the ascertainment of truth between the teacher and the disciple or between others, both unbiased.--Gloss of Sridhara Swami on this verse.
Satadusani weapon system based on Sri-Bhasya, but more advanced and sophisticated taking advantage of later developments since Ramanujacharya.
Sri Yamuna (916-1036 CE) was the first of the kind to take on the Advaitins by the dialectical sword. He devoted himself to do 360 degree study of the nature of the individual self and the Absolute. Advaita Vedanta advances the triadic doctrine of the Unity of Self, The illusion of the Universe and Avidya. The Advaitin's view is abhorrent to Sri Vaishnavism. Yamuna and Ramanuja seek to examine the fabric of Advaita philosophy by woof and warp and find defects. Among the opponents of Advaitins, Maya and illusion of the universe are some of their favorite subjects for disputation. They believed that attacking the fortifications of the opponent's philosophy is essential in building their own system of philosophy. Sankara's (788-820 CE) fort of Monistic philosophy withstands many forays from the likes of Yamuna (916-1036 CE), Ramanujacharya (1017-1137), Madhava (1238-1317). Monism does not fall with the likes of Sri Harsa, Anandabodha, and Cisukha holding the Fort. Vedanta Desikan (1268 CE – 1369 CE) tries to find chinks in the armor of Monism. Satadusani was the weapon he designs to pierce the armor. The weapon system (Satadusani) borrows heavily from Sri-Bhasya of Ramanuja and attempts to make more polished and elaborate Stinger. Some original ideas are obvious in the system, designed to strike the opponent where they are most vulnerable. (Here read: the hollowness in the arguments of the opponents.) Counter arguments to invalidate all the Advaitic theories developed since Ramanujacharaya are incorporated in Satadusani, which takes advantage of all contradictions in the opponent's argument and attack their stand from all around (multi-pronged attack). Desika says that one could deploy the arrows of arguments contained in Satadusani in an endless repetition like a parrot (like a broken record, a kind of Echolalia) to bring the Monism down on its knees.
Desika prepares for battle.
Desika studies the Advaitins and their works thoroughly preceding his advent in Tamil Nadu. He studies deeply into Sankara's Sutra-Bhasya, Vacaspati's Bhamati, Vimuktaman's ista-siddhi, all the arguments that come under Purva-Paksa of Pre-Desika period and other contemporary Monistic arguments to take on headlong the Purvapaksins of the day.
Desika goes to battle the Advaitins in the sacred halls of temples.
Satadusani is said to contain 100 VAdas but only 66 VAdas survive. It is thought that 34 VAdas are lost for ever. Satadusani investigates epistemological, metaphysical, cosmological, religious and ethical issues. The first 8 Vadas deal with the 1st aphorism of Vedanta-sutras--the meaning, significance and nature of Brahman. The first 8 also deal with Karma and Jnana. Vada 9 questions and dismisses the eligibility of Advaitin to engage in philosophical debate. Vadas 10 to 30 discusses the nature of Perception and Difference, Advaitin's view of the Universe as Illusion, the nature of Consciousness, the validity of scripture and other related subjects. Vada 32 is devoted to the doctrine of Jivanmukti. The Vadas do not follow Sri-Bhasya in a numerical sense. Nirguna and Saguna Brahman are discussed. The lack of sequential treatment of subject, it is surmised, is based on the premise that the debates are recorded as they happen. One account says the following. A debate went on for seven days in Srirangam between Vedanta Desika and the Advaitins. Perarulala Jiyar, a disciple of Desikan records the debate and submits the transcript to Desikan on the 8th day after the Pundits are roundly defeated. Another account says that Desikan himself wrote the material soon after each debate. Though there is no coherent arrangement, the debate material is extensive, complete and comprehensive.
Eight points of debate-battle.
The 66 Vadas are grouped under 8 categories: 1) Pramanas, 2) Perception and Difference, 3) The Nature of Consciousness, 4) The Individual Self and the Absolute, 5) The Nirguna Brahman, 6) The Universe, 7) The Doctrine of Avidya, 8) Sadhana and Mukti.
Pramanas: Means to obtain Knowledge. Advaitin opines that though Pramanas are illusory, they reveals what is real ultimately. Desikan debates the issue, and the conclusion is that something that is unreal to begin with cannot reveal the real. If Pramanas (do not wear a vesture of reality and) do not have real existence, metaphysical debate cannot be carried out. Scriptures cannot be claimed as authority if there is nothing to separate them from the non-authoritative sacred texts of the Buddhists. If Scripture's validity is superior to that of perception, conflict between the two cannot be resolved in the light of the premise that Avidya (ignorance) is the source of scriptures and perception.
Demolition of Theories. Monistic Theory of Rope and Snake shredded.
The Theory of Rope and Snake is subjected to critical analysis. Rope is mistaken for snake and thus induces fear in the observer. Snake is unreal; the rope is real. Desika concludes the Unreal cannot reveal the Real. If the Pramanas (Means) are not real, discussion is not possible (Vada 9). Sacred books by name only (Buddhist sacred texts) cannot claim ultimate authority (Vada 14). Scriptures cannot claim authority and superior validity over that of perception, if the scripture itself has for its source in Avidya (Vada 20). All these are wholesale attacks on monistic precepts of Rope and Snake, Sacred Texts of Buddhists, and the Theory of Avidya.
Perception and Difference:
Counter-Correlate Theory (Pratiyogin = the thing negated; Prior knowledge of the absent.)
Brahman is beyond mind and speech. Man tries to comprehend Brahman by his mind and express his understanding of Him by speech. Both mind and speech fail him in this effort. He throws his hands up towards the sky and says, "Brahman is beyond mind and speech." Yet he does not give up. He looks up, down and around and sees the universe. Who made all this? There must be something or somebody who made all this. He sees living things and matter, sentient and insentient. He boldly says, " Brahman is Sat and Asat; Being and Non-being. I feel Him and yet I don't see Him. If I don't see Him, does that mean He does not exist? If He is existent or non-existent, what is its correlate? " Everything goes by correlates. There are many correlates: good and bad; income and expense; love and hate; man and woman; cow and non-cow. He depends upon his perception to comprehend things and Brahman. He tries to prove the Existence of Brahman by cow analogy. How do I know a cow is cow? Cow has a dewlap; all cows have dewlap and so all the cows belong to one class (Jati or generic entity or what we call Genus) The cow belongs to the Genus Bos. European species of the cow is known as Bos taurus. All cows don't look alike; each one has its own special quality or characteristic. That means that our sense-organ can perceive not only that the animal and its Genus and that particular cow is different from all other cows. This is perceiving the difference within the genus. Difference between genera are "apprehended along with Counter-Correlates, which are remote in space and time." Perception of Svarupa (one's own form) and Bheda (difference) is immediate upon an encounter with the object. All this amounts to Jati (Genus), Svarupa and Bheda. We know what a cow is. It has a dewlap; that is its form and difference. Since we know the Jati (Genus-Bos), svarupa and Sine qua non of the cow (the dewlap) we do not need the knowledge of the Counter-Correlate (Pratiyogin) to compare the cow against; In other words we do not need an animal from another genus for comparison to know the svarupa of the cow. When there are two genera side by side, we want to know and perceive the form and difference between the two. Perception cognizes both the svarupa and difference of the object or in this instance the cow. Jati or Genus constitutes the basis for the difference. If someone has not seen cows but knows only a horse and if that someone demands to know about the cow, you say it is a non-horse. The Counter-Correlate of all cows is non-horse to that person who knows a horse but not a cow. Non-horse per se is non-existent; likewise non-existence of Brahman, the Counter-Correlate of existence is not possible. You have nothing else to compare Brahman with. What is meant by this? Brahman is neither existent nor non-existent. Brahman cannot be proven by Pramanas (any and all Means) to be existent or non-existent, as all Pramanas are limited by human range and scope. Brahman cannot be proven to be non-existent because nothing can exist without Him. Vedanta Desika says, it is maintained that perception, even though it be momentary, cognizes both difference and the svarupa of the thing-- Page 38.
Nature of difference: Vedanta Desikan vigorously argues that Monistic (Advaitic) Paradigm of Shell-Silver illusion tumbles down on its face with a rattle when one knows the nature of difference. Desikan said everything except calling it a shell game of the Advaitins. The Advaitins are not cognizing the difference, the shell-ness of the shell and the silver-ness of the silver to avoid the illusion. They have to notice both the positive and negative qualities of shell and silver in order to escape from the illusion. Though the shell-ness is seen, the difference of the shell from the silver is not cognized, leading to the illusion of silver. Thus superimposition (of silver on shell) is an invalid argument and lack of perception of difference. One should cognize two objects as different. All this essentially comes to support Vishistadvaita theory of three distinct Reals: Isvara, Cit and Acit. The world is not an illusion but real; the phenomenal world is not a superimposition on Brahman; the Acit is real; the phenomenal world is real; Isvara is Real; the individual souls are real. Brahman cannot be burdened with Avidya-maya. If He is full of ignorance, how could He create this world? Brahman and individual souls are identical with a ton of difference.
Counter-Correlate according to Panchadasi: translation by Swami Swahananda.
Verse II.25. And about non-existence: we cannot say that it (is something that) exists. So it cannot serve as a Pratiyogin. If so, how can there be Vijatiya difference?
Explanation: To speak of difference from a thing which does not exist conveys no meaning. The world is not really real and so cannot stand on the same footing.
Bheda means difference, or not itself or the same but another. The word in the text is Pratiyogitvam, which is the technical term. It means how we recognize difference by noting the otherness in another thing. For example a pot is not a canvas. Now we say a canvas is different from a pot. Why? We note a pot is a pot because of its pot-ness and a canvas is a canvas because of its canvas-ness. The total characteristic of a pot is pot-ness and of a canvas is canvas-ness. We do not find canvass-ness in a pot or pot-ness in a canvas. Or in other words, we do not find the total characteristic of a pot in canvas and vice versa. So the difference means the want of the total characteristic of one thing in another. Pot-ness is wanting in a canvas. Canvas-ness is wanting in a pot. Here pot is an Anuyogin (in relation) to canvas and canvas-ness is a Pratiyogin (with reference) to pot. Again canvas is an anuyogin to pot and pot-ness is Pratiyogin (with reference) to canvas. An anuyogin therefore is the locus of the want of the total characteristic of another thing and the total characteristic that is lacking in another thing is the Pratiyogin.
Vaishnavas usually talk about the cow which is identified by its svarupa and the difference, the dewlap, the exclusive feature of the cow.
Panchadasi: Here our point of discussion is Atman-Brahman which is Sat, existence. To be the other or another in relation to it, the other thing must be lacking in the total characteristic of Sat or existence i.e., it must be non-existent like a square-circle. What characteristic can a square-circle have? Hence Atman-Brahman cannot have Vijatiya Bheda. vijAti mfn. belonging to another caste or tribe , dissimilar , heterogeneous; different origin or caste or tribe.
Perception of difference
The sense organ is capable of cognizing the difference and svarupa (own form) of two objects. The object (Vastu) has Samasthana (shape , form, appearance). It is the Sine qua non of an object, without which an object cannot be identified. It confers the title of Jati or Genus to that object and occurs invariably in all individuals of that class. In the cow it is the dewlap that constitutes the difference. There is no need for the knowledge of the Counter-Correlate when you know a cow by its Jati, the dewlap, according to Desikan.
Indeterminate and Determinate Perception, the battle between Advaita and Visistadvaita in the definition of Brahman.
Advaitins argue that Nirvikalpa-Indeterminate perception means that an object (Parabrahman) is without attributes. The Object (Parabrahman becoming Saguna Brahman) acquires attributes in Savikalpa-Derminate Perception. Vedanta Desikan argues that In Nirvikalpa-Indeterminate Perception, there is First and Primary apprehension of characteristics of an individual or object and in Savikalpa, same characteristics are noted in the same-class of individuals or objects. Sri Ramanuja points out, "Indeterminate perception is the apprehension of an object devoid of some qualification but not all qualifications. Perception never has for its content an object that is devoid of all characteristics." You see a cow the very first time in your life. You say, "what is it?" In Indeterminate perception, there is apprehension of the Very First Cow by its dewlap. In Determinate perception, you apprehend a second cow, a third cow and a class (group) of cows or genus of cows. The cow analogy is a favorite of the Vaishnavas (like me). Krishna Paramatman is a protector of cows (Govinda) and loves butter so much He stole butter as a child to support His High-Butter-Diet habit. Krishna is the butter thief; He loves cows milk so much He could not wait for the cow to be milked and He goes straight to the udder to drink milk from. No, He did not suffer any disease (brucellosis, Listeriosis) from drinking unpasteurized milk or hypercholesterolemia.
Why all this discussion on Inderminate and Determinate Perception? Vaishnavas do not believe in Impersonal nameless, formless and attributeless Brahman as Advaitins (Monists) do. Vaishnavas say that Indeterminate Perception of Brahman reveals the auspicious qualities of Brahman. Determinate Perception confirms and expands on the auspicious qualities.
Advaitins argue that Nirvikalpa Parabrahman is pure Consciousness without any attributes. Advaita Jnana Yogis attain Nirvikalpa Samadhi with Parabrahman with Pure Consciousness and no form, shape, or name.
Vaishnavas do not believe in Attributeless Brahman or Impersonal Brahman. Brahman always has a name, a form and auspicious qualities. There are many of them. Think of Vishnu-Narayana-Balarama-Krishna-Pradymna-Anirudha.
The Nature of Consciousness
Advaitin's stand on Consciousness. It is eternal, independent, neither produced (unproduced), nor destroyed, self-effulgent, transcendental, , undifferentiated, indeterminate, self-evident, self-proved, incomprehensible, immutable, unitary, sentient, Monadic Reality. It is a subject and never an object. Multitude of consciousness seen in finite selves is like the moon reflected in many pots with water. Objective qualities cannot be attributed to Consciousness. Consciousness as seen in the knower, known and knowledge is not real but phenomenal (vyAvahArika = வியாவகாரிகம் = practical existence, empirical). It is the function of Antahkarana Vrtti (அந்தக்கரண விருத்தி). The Advaitins interpret Antahkarana Vrtti as modification of the Inner Organ. When you see an Apple, your mind undergoes modification and transforms itself into an Apple. When Antahkarana is absolutely sure that the perceived object is an Apple, that sure knowledge is presented to Buddhi (புத்தி), which accepts it. Buddhi may reject false knowledge. Chitta (சித்தம்) moves the knowledge back and forth between the front and back of the consciousness. The Apple is presented to Ahamkara, which says, "I know Apple." When there is false cognition of a rope as a snake, the snake is sublated from the modification of the mind with the correct cognition of the rope. The perception of snake is Avidya-Jnana and Avidya-Vrtti (அவித்தை விருத்தி = Mental Modification due to Ignorance). The perception of snake by the person cannot be dismissed out of hand, though it is Avidya-Vrtti.
Antahkarana is the expression of Saksin (Atman-Witness) as listed above and is compared to a ray which radiates from the Witness, Atman or Self. This emanation is called Vrttis or ripples. Perceptions are compared to the waves reaching the Self. Chitta (Citta) is less subtle than Ahamkara and is like the RAM memory, remembering and forgetting; The forgetting is called Apohana and recall is known as Smrti (ஸ்மிருதி). Chitta obtains knowledge from Buddhi and keeps it in storage. Apohana or forgetting is to move the knowledge to the back burner from the front of consciousness. Smrti or remembering is to move the knowledge from the back to the front.
The Buddhi is less subtle than Chitta, makes decisions and instructs the Mind which works in collaboration with the five Janendriyas (sense organs = eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin). Mind serves as the blackboard where on the sense organs register their impressions, which are converted as concepts by the mind and presented to Buddhi, which rejects most of them and keeps some as nuggets of knowledge. Buddhi keeps moving the knowledge back and forth between the front and back of the consciousness as Smrti and Apohana with the help of Chitta.
Antahkarana is operational in two modes: External knowledge Acquisition (Abhijna) and internal Self-Knowledge (Pratyabhijna) acquisition. In Abhijna knowledge acquisition, knowledge proceeds from the gross to the subtle, from the sense organs to Chitta. It also depicts the evolution of the gross from the subtle (Ahamkara, Chitta, Buddhi, Manas). In Pratyabhijna mode, it turns itself inward and obtain Self-Knowledge. Abhijna is outbound, while Pratyabhijna is inbound.
Here is another view of Antahkarana or the Inner Organ, the Central Processing Unit in our body. This CPU-Antakarana is the nerve center of human thought, activity, our being and becoming. here is another way of looking at Antahkarana.
The sense organs gather impressions of the external world and present them to the Manas or mind, which formulates ideas and notions. Manas and sense organs are mutually dependent for their function. Manas gathers the impressions as a camera would gather the images. These mental impressions are forwarded to Buddhi in line of hierarchy. Buddhi is a multi-tasker, behaves like a sieve or colander, subjects impressions to analysis, correlates and collates, accepts or rejects impressions. The retained impressions are called knowledge which is the essence of all the accepted impressions.
When Buddhi is churning, you call the function Buddhi-Vritti. Same is true of Manas-Vritti. Manas-Vritti, Buddhi-Vritti and Chitta-Virrti are controlled by a three-way switch, a case of reciprocal inhibition; only one switch is operative at a time. When Manas is churning, Buddhi and Chitta stops churning. Manas is a gatherer of information; Buddhi is a sifter, a sorter, an analyzer, a collator, and a processor of knowledge. It is like gathering intel (intelligence) by Manas, the field agents, and the analyzer of 'intel' is the Buddhi. Buddhi is intelligence, reason, power of discernment or judgment. Its intrinsic memory is evanescent. . Antahkarana is the inner organ or the repository of Manas, Buddhi and Chitta. Chitta is a shuttle and moves knowledge back and forth from the front burner of consciousness or Buddhi to back burner and vice versa. When knowledge shuttles via the shuttle-express (Chitta) to the front of consciousness, you call it Smrti or remembrance; when knowledge is put in storage and not remembered, it is called Apohana (loss or forgetting); but it is available upon demand. Impressions; analytical interpretation; and storage and recall are the respective functions of Manas, Buddhi and Chitta, which work like gears in the car; when one gear is on, the other two gears are disabled.
In successful Mantra meditation, Mind dissolves in Buddhi and Buddhi dissolves in Chitta. This is essential for proper meditation. This sequential process has three parts to it: meditation by the mind, repetition by Buddhi and contemplation by Chitta. It goes from thought-initiation to application to contemplation. Chitta keeps you in the 'groove' . You need Chitta to keep meditation, concentration and contemplation in sync. Mind is a mechanical meditator; Buddhi is a fickle meditator; Chitta is a serene meditator. Your aim is to graduate to and dissolve in Chitta meditation. Mind meditation and Buddhi meditation are out-bound meaning the thoughts are out-bound in the world of happenings; you are in the world of Nama and Rupa, names and forms. Chitta meditation is inbound in the sense it is in step with the Atman, the Inner Soul, the Witness. At this juncture the Chitta goes into Smrti mode (remembrance) and engages in deep contemplation.
Now comes Vedanta Desikan (VD) who refutes Monistic precepts.
Nirvisesa: absence of qualities. VD says that such an entity does not exist. Consciousness is present in both the subject and object. VD demands to see proof of the existence of Attributeless Consciousness (Nirguna Brahman). Self itself is proof of Consciousness is rejected by VD. Experience demands that an object possess qualities. It is Advaitin's view that the individuals experience a communion with the Supreme Consciousness during Deep Sleep. VD says that there is no evidence to back that proposition and that knowledge does not exist during Deep Sleep. Not being aware of anything during Deep Sleep is no proof of manifestation of Consciousness as a Witness of Ajnana or ignorance.
To be continued.