Atma Bodha – Chapter8

Atma Bodha

Vishnu Bapat

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Verse 46-53
Verse 46
Awareness of reality destroys the feelings of “I” and “mine”.
It is like a man gaining direction in wilderness

तत्वस्वरूपानुभवादुत्पन्नं ज्ञानमंजसा ।
अहं ममेति चाज्ञानं बाधते दिग्भ्रमादिवत् ॥ ४६॥
तत्वस्वरूपानुभवात् उत्पन्नम् ज्ञानम् अंजसा अहम् मम इति च अज्ञानम् बाधते दिग्भ्रमादिवत्
तत्वस्वरूपानुभवात्-by experiencing the true nature of the self (तत्व स्वरूप- ब्रह्म स्वरूप अनुभवात्) उत्पन्नम्-produced ज्ञानम्-knowledge अंजसा-instantly अहम्-I मम-mine इति-thus च-and अज्ञानम्-ignorance बाधते-destroys दिग्भ्रमादिवत्- like a man who has lost direction (दिग् भ्रम आदिवत्)

The knowledge produced by the true nature of reality destroys at once the ignorance characterized by the notions of “I”, and “mine”. It is like a man gaining direction in wilderness, upon sunrise.

तत्वस्वरूपानुभवात् उत्पन्नम् ज्ञानम् अंजसा –the knowledge produced by understanding the true nature of reality अंजसा -at once, immediately
तत्व स्वरूप अनुभवात् by the experience of universal nature of Brahman, or on attaining self-knowledge, the narrow notions of ahamkara and mamakara become irrelevant. An ignorant person confuses the rope for a snake. This is called रज्जु अज्ञानम्. What is the end result of removal of rajju ajnyanam? Paramarthananda says it is सर्प अध्य़ासः, सर्प भ्रान्तिः, सर्प कल्पना is removed. Ajnyana is the cause and सर्प भ्रान्तिः is result. कारण नाशे कार्य नाशः. So, what jnayanam does? It does not directly destroy the adhyasa but destroys ajnyana. Once ignorance is gone सर्प अध्य़ासः, सर्प भ्रान्तिः, सर्प कल्पना and such bye-products are eliminated. Similarly, ब्रह्म ज्ञानम् eliminates ब्रह्म अज्ञानम्. अज्ञानम् is the root cause of jivatma, samsara, sukha, dukha, Kama, krodha, attachment, and duality. अज्ञानम् is the कारणम् and जीवता or संसारः is the karyam (कार्यम्).
अहम् मम इति च अज्ञानम् बाधते –drives away immediately the ignorance such as “I” and “Mine”. The notion of “I” and “me, creates exclusiveness in me. It is called ahamkara or ego. It is not pride or arrogance. It creates a sense of doer ship and ownership which separates us from others. Statements like “I did it”, “I am the owner”, I am entitled to enjoy this” “he is our man”, “He belongs to me” and such statements of ahankara, denotes exclusiveness from others. There is another class of ahankara called “mama Kara”. It is regarding attachment to external objects. Examples are: ” He is my friend”, “he is my son”, “He belongs to me and I belong to him”. Such notions cause great sorrow and grief. अंजसा this phalam is produced instantaneously. There is no time lapse. As soon as the light is switched on darkness goes away.
दिग्भ्रमादिवत् – दिग् भ्रम आदिवत् like a man who has lost his way becoming unaware of his location. Shankaracharya gives an appropriate example to emphasize the point that as soon as knowledge dawns, ignorance is destroyed. Suppose a traveler has lost his way in a forest. A wayside person shows him which is east. Then what happens? He immediately knows which is west; south and north. The import of this simile is that as soon as ignorance about me is gone, all the bye products of ignorance is removed. Then, I reach Brahman consciousness.
तत्वस्वरूपानुभव By realization of my reality, the ignorance is burnt up. There are some secondary benefits says Parmarthananda. Here are they:

  1. jeevatva bhraanti destruction – I used to take myself to be this limited body, mind and intellect equipment, which has little or no control over the happenings in the world. This concept is destroyed. (देहभ्रांति)
  2. Freedom from ahamkara (born from association with this body) and mamakaara (born from the association with the external world)
  3. Total change in my perspective (दृष्टि परिवर्तनम्) of looking at me and at the world around me. Earlier, I used to consider myself as totally dependent (aadheya) on this world and the world as my supporter (aadhaara). Now after Jnyana praapti, the situation is completely reversed. Now I am the aadhaara and the world is aadheya. Nothing in the world can affect me.
    Summary of discussion from Verse 40 to 46
    The object of the foregoing seven verses is removal of ajnyana or ignorance. Ajnyana is identification with jivatma or dehabrhanti (देहभ्रांति). in other words, removal of ajnyana or ignorance (अज्ञान निवृत्ति) is tantamount to attainment of knowledge (ज्ञान प्राप्ति). Freedom from ignorance is the primary benefit.
    Paramarthananda says; “The attainment of freedom from ignorance bestows many secondary side benefits”. These are:
  4. Freedom from upadhis or identification with objects and names रूपवर्णादिकम्. Verse 40
  5. ज्ञातृ ज्ञान ज्ञेय भेदः नाशः Removal of distinction of knower, knowing and known. Verse 41
  6. उदितावगतिः ज्वाला सर्वाज्ञानेन्धनं दहेत् एवम् आत्मारणौ ध्यान-मथने कृते the spark of knowledge is ignited and ignorance is burnt down. Verse 42
  7. As the sun rises at dawn, driving away darkness of the night, the darkness caused by ignorance is dispelled as the Atman is revealed. Verse 43
  8. Atma is ever present reality. but it is blinded from us due to ignorance. After dawn of knowledge, you become aware of it, like a missing necklace worn by you Verse 44.
  9. Due to delusion, a post appears as a ghost, just as Brahman appears as jiva. When the ignorance is removed the true nature of Brahman is revealed Verse 45
  10. Freedom from ahamkara (born from association with this body) and mamakaara (born from the association with the external world) अहम् मम इति च अज्ञानम् बाधते verse 46.
  11. Total change in the perspective of looking at me and at the world around me. Earlier, I used to consider myself as totally dependent (आधेय aadheya) on this world and the world as my supporter (आधार Aadhaar). Now after Jnyana praapti, the situation is completely reversed and now I am the aadhaara and the world is aadheya. Nothing in the world can affect me.

Verse 47
A yogi of perfect realization looks upon the world
residing his own body. This, he beholds with an eye of wisdom.

सम्यग्विज्ञानवान् योगी स्वात्मन्येवाखिलं जगत् ।
एकं च सर्वमात्मानमीक्षते ज्ञानचक्षुषा ॥ ४७॥

सम्यक् विज्ञानवान् योगी स्वात्मनि एव अखिलम् जगत् एकम् च सर्वम् आत्मानम् ईक्षते ज्ञानचक्षुषा
सम्यक्-thoroughly विज्ञानवान्-a man of total realization योगी-the sage स्वात्मनि-in his own self एव-only अखिलम्-entire जगत्-universe एकम्-one च-and सर्वम्-everything आत्मानम्-his own self ईक्षते-sees ज्ञानचक्षुषा- through his eye of wisdom.

The yogi of perfect realization sees the entire world residing in his own self and regards the entire world as his own self, he beholds this with his ‘eye of wisdom’.
सम्यक् विज्ञानवान् योगी –The yogi here stands for one who is in communion with the self. The identity of jiva and Brahman is declared to be ‘yoga’. This is the vision of a विज्ञानवान् yogi. विज्ञान means अपरोक्ष ज्ञान. अपरोक्ष means direct, intuitive or transcendental knowledge which cannot be gained by sense organs. This can be gained by practice of discipline and dispassion. In the previous verse it was called as तत्वस्वरूपानुभवात् उत्पन्नम् ज्ञानम् the transcendental knowledge obtained by experiencing the reality of Atman. It is aparoklsha jnyana. परोक्ष means conventional knowledge.
A man of perfect realization and enlightenment is one who has four-fold qualifications (साधनचतुष्टयम्). These are विवेकः (discrimination), विरागः (dispassion), set of six disciplines (षट्कसम्पत्तिः), and deliverance or desire for liberation (मुमुक्षुत्वम्).
The six disciplines are शमः control of mind, दमः sense control, उपरमः introspection, तितीक्षा forbearance, श्रद्धा trust in Guru and scriptures, and समाधानम् concentration.
स्वात्मनि एव अखिलम् जगत् -sees the entire world residing in himself. There is a change of perspective in him from a man of world to the lord of world. Initially I consider myself as a helpless man persecuted by the world. As I progress in my spiritual ladder, I realize that consciousness in me is the same as consciousness in everyone else. I realize that the whole world is nothing but me (स्वात्मनि एव).

सर्वभूतस्थमात्मानं सर्वभूतानि चात्मनि ।ईक्षते योगयुक्तात्मा सर्वत्र समदर्शनः ॥ BG Ch. 6:29

A yogi whose soul is united with all pervading supreme consciousness has a vision of equality for all beings. He beholds the supreme self in all beings and all beings in the supreme self.

एकम् च सर्वम् आत्मानम् –and regards the entire world as his own self. I realize the one thread binding the whole world. There is no separation between me and the world. Everything is born in me, exists in me, and finally resolves in me. Just as I create a world in the dream, which is born in me, exists in me and finally resolves in me, the waker. In the dream state the dream appears to me as real. Similarly, in the waking state the world appears to me as real. When I wake up to my real nature as absolute consciousness, सचिदानंद आत्मा, I realized that I am not dependent on world and in fact the world is dependent on me. The world no more harasses me. This is the change in perspective talked about in this verse- Chidatmananda.
ईक्षते ज्ञानचक्षुषा –thus he behold with his ‘eye of wisdom’. With the eye of knowledge, I see that there is nothing else in this world but me. There is no physical wisdom eye. It is a simile to explain the change in perspective. The sense organs continue to see different objects, emotions and thought, but the realized soul through his wisdom eye sees everything in him. This is called एकत्व दर्शनम्. As long as I remain a jivatma I will say ‘I am in the world’. As a wave I say’ I am born in the ocean, I exist in the ocean and I disappear in the ocean. But once I know I am water, the very content, I will say, ‘the ocean exists in me, and there is no wave or ocean without me’. Therefore, whether I am the water or the ocean, depends upon my vision. As a wave I am created, but as water I am the creator. As anatma I am created and as atma I am the creator. With a small shift in vision that “I am Brahman’ one becomes a jnyani.
Verse 48
The entire plural universe is atman and nothng other than that, just as the pots and mugs are nothing but clay. The yogi sees nothing but himself everywhere.

आत्मैवेदं जगत्सर्वमात्मनोऽन्यन्न विद्यते ।
मृदो यद्वद्घटादीनि स्वात्मानं सर्वमीक्षते ॥ ४८॥
आत्मा एव इदम् जगत् सर्वम् आत्मनोऽन्यत् न विद्यते मृदः यद्वत् घटादीनि स्वात्मानम् सर्वम् ईक्षते
आत्मा-the Atman एव-verily इदम्-this जगत्-universe सर्वम्-entire आत्मनोऽन्यत्-other than the Atman न-not विद्यते-exists मृदःfrom the clay- यद्वत्-just as घटादीनि-pots etc. स्वात्मानम्-his own self सर्वम्-everything ईक्षते-sees

The entire universe is verily Atman; nothing other than Atman exists. As pots and jars are verily clay, so also the enlightened one sees everything as his own self.

आत्मा एव इदम् जगत् सर्वम् – This entire universe is verily the Atman Itself. It means jagat is not anatma. Atma is Sachidananda swarupa. The universe includes macrocosm and microcosm (समष्ठि and व्यष्ठि). It appears in different names and forms. Waves of different shapes and sizes arise from the ocean; they play on the ocean shore and finally merge back into the ocean alone. The wave has no existence separate from the ocean. The waves are nothing but the ocean.
सर्वम् खलु इदम् ब्रह्म, ब्रह्मैवम् विश्वम् इदम् वरिष्ठम् (Chandogyopanishad) The entire universe is Brahman. There is nothing other than Brahman. There is no anatma. How can that be? Jagat is savikalpa and Brahman is nirvikalpa. Jagat is Jada and Atman is chetana. How can Shruti say: “jagat is Brahman”? As long as I remain as Jivatma, I will say “I am in the world”. The waves say “I am in the ocean, I am born in the ocean, sustain in ocean and die in ocean”. But When I change my perspective, I realize that I am no other than the supreme Brahman. The wave realizes that it is none other than water which makes the ocean. Body consciousness becomes God consciousness. As a wave, I am created, but as water I am creator. As anatma I am created as Atma I am creator. As an object I am created but as the subject I am the creator. As sharira I am created but as shariri, I am the creator. For this to happen, says Paramarthananda, we need to have a small shift in our vision, Aham Brahmasmi.
आत्मनोऽन्यत् न विद्यते – Nothing whatsoever other than Atman exists. Whatever diversity is seen is due to duality and ignorance.
मृदः यद्वत् घटादीनि – Just as pots, etc., can be said to be only clay. Many articles are made out of clay such as a pot, pitcher, plate etc. The basic material is only clay. Similarly, for the plurality of objects the basic material is the self, but appears with different names and forms.
स्वात्मानम् सर्वम् ईक्षते – so, the wise one (सम्यक् विज्ञानवान् योगी) sees everything as his own Self. Similarly, this whole world arises from the one Atma, is sustained by it and finally merges back into it. The world has no existence separate from the Atman. It is easier to appreciate that the wave is nothing but the ocean, but in order to understand that this whole world of multiplicity is nothing but Atma, one needs preparation and practice of the mind. Only a person who has purified his mind and consequently been blessed with the eye of wisdom is able to appreciate the oneness in the multiplicity.
Verse 49
A liberated person gives up all the upadhis attributed to him.
It is like a worm that grows out to become a wasp.

जीवन्मुक्तस्तु तद्विद्वान्पूर्वोपाधिगुणान्स्त्यजेत् ।
सच्चिदानन्दरूपत्वात् भवेद्भ्रमरकीटवत् ॥ ४९॥
जीवन्मुक्तः तु तद्विद्वान् पूर्वोपाधिगुणान् त्यजेत् सच्चिदानन्दरूपत्वात् भवेत् भ्रमरकीटवत्

जीवन्मुक्तः-The liberated one तु-verily तद्विद्वान्- (तत् विद्वान्, ब्रह्म विद्वान्) –a wise man endowed with self-knowledge पूर्वोपाधिगुणान्- (पूर्व उपाधि गुणान्)- traits of the previous equipment or upadhis त्यजेत्-gives up सच्चिदानन्दरूपत्वात्- (सत् चित् आनंद रूपत्वात्)- because of his nature of existence, knowledge and bliss भवेत्-will be भ्रमरकीटवत्- like a wasp.

A liberated one endowed with self-knowledge, gives up the traits of his previous equipment attributed to him. Being in the nature of existence-consciousness-bliss, he verily becomes Brahman. This is like a worm that grows out to be a wasp.

जीवन्मुक्तः तु तद्विद्वान् पूर्वोपाधिगुणान् त्यजेत् – (तत् विद्वान् पूर्व उपाधि गुणान्) The liberated soul, is the wise man who is endowed with Self-knowledge gives up the traits of his previous equipment. Jivanmukta is one who has become through self-knowledge completely free of ignorance even as he continues to live in the body. He gives up all the upadhis attributed to him, prior to dawn of knowledge. The upadhis are his identification with the unit of body, mind and intellect.
Paramarthananda comments: Jivan mukta is a unique concept in advaita. In Vasishta advaita and dwaita there cannot be a jivanmukta. In those systems, a person is liberated only after dropping of the body and after going to Vaikuntha. Jivan means he is still living in the body and mukta means he is free from bondage of anatma. Just as reflection in our mirror does not disturb us, just as our shadow does not disturb us, the anatma objects do not disturb him.
तत् विद्वान् –means ब्रह्म विद्वान्
पूर्व उपाधि गुणान् त्यजेत् -drops all the traits of erstwhile upadhis. Which are the erstwhile upadhis? These are gross, subtle and causal bodies. गुणान् means attributes or properties. The properties of gross body are obesity, lean body, male, female etc. The properties of subtle body are राग, द्वेश, मोह, मद, मत्सर, प्रेम, करुण etc. Casual body property is ajnyana or ignorance. He gives up all these upadhis. He considers all the upadhis as sharira dharma, and do not belong to him.
Chidatmananda says: Most of our responses to stimuli are habitual in nature. We react in a particular way to a particular situation due to habit. Tension, anxiety, depression, anger, fear are traits which we have developed over the years and now they have become habitual. They are like reflex actions which involve no thinking and so, happen impulsively. A विद्वान्, who has freed himself from ignorance, has realized that, I am not the body-mind-intellect complex; but I am totally free supreme self. He has also freed himself from the erstwhile compulsive negative reactions. (पूर्व उपाधि गुणान्)
सच्चिदानन्दरूपत्वात् भवेत् भ्रमरकीटवत् – verily becomes of the nature of Sachidananda, even as a worm would transform into a wasp. According to Indian folklore a wasp builds a mud nest with one exit and keeps its worm in the nest. It guards the exit all the time. If the worm tries to get out, it stings it and the worm out of fear looks at an opportunity to get out. This act is compared to single pointed contemplation over the form and nature of the wasp. An account of this the worm totally metamorphoses into a wasp. This is called ‘Bhramara-keeta nyaya’. A wise man who is free from all upadhis, continuously meditates on the Existence-Consciousness-Bliss (सत् चित् आनंद रूपत्वात्) nature of Atman. By this he personally becomes सत् चित् आनंद
स्वरूप. This is like worm becoming wasp as if by constant meditation on the nature and form of the wasp.
Verse 50
After crossing the ocean of delusion and slaying monsters of likes and dislikes, the yogi begets peace and and lives in the glory of atmrama

तीर्त्वा मोहार्णवं हत्वा रागद्वेषादिराक्षसान् ।
योगी शान्तिसमायुक्त आत्मारामो विराजते ॥ ५०॥
तीर्त्वा मोहार्णवम् हत्वा रागद्वेषादि राक्षसान् योगी शान्तिसमायुक्तः आत्मारामः विराजते
तीर्त्वा-having crossed मोहार्णवम् (मोह आर्णवम्)-the ocean of delusion हत्वा-having killed रागद्वेषादि राक्षसान्-the monsters of likes and dislikes योगी-the sage शान्तिसमायुक्तः-endowed with peace आत्मारामः-one who revels within himself विराजते-shines

After crossing the ocean of delusion, and killing the monsters of likes and dislikes, the yogi, who is united with peace dwells in the in the glory of his own realized self as Atmarama.
This verse illustrates how the jiva attains moksha through the well-known Ramayana story. The entire Ramayana is the simile in this verse. Rama is compared to Brahman or paramatma. Sita fell in love with the golden deer and Rama went after it. The golden deer is the anatma material of enjoyment and when Rama goes in pursuit of it, he loses Sita or Shanti. This is the story of downfall and decadence of jivatma because of the attraction and revulsion offered by Maya.

तीर्त्वा मोहार्णवम् – After crossing the ocean of moha or delusion. Rama has to cross the ocean between India and Sri Lanka to bring back Sita or Shanti. The first job is to cross the mighty ocean of delusion (मोह). How Rama crossed the ocean; through a bridge specially built for the occasion. We have to cross the ocean of मोह by building the setu or bridge of viveka.
हत्वा रागद्वेषादि राक्षसान् –killing the monsters of likes, dislikes, etc., The word monsters allude to Ravana and his followers. The monsters for us are in the form of राग (passion), द्वेश (hatred), काम (desire), मद (arrogance), and मत्सर (envy, jealousy). These monsters that way lay us in our spiritual journey have to be slayed.
योगी शान्तिसमायुक्तः – the Yogi who is united firmly with Peace. The word शांती or peace refers to Sita, the consort of Rama. Just as Rama got Sita we get shanti (peace, tranquility) in our life.
आत्मारामः विराजते – rules lke peaceful king. He becomes “Atma Rama”, one who revels in one’s blissful nature. It stands for Rama. सर्वॆ रमति इत् रामः one who revels in all hearts. Every jiva or jivatma becomes Atmarama if it crosses the मोह आर्णव (the sea of delusion) and win over negativities like रागद्वेषादि राक्षसान्. Such an enlightened soul (yogi) shines forth (विराजते) even while living in the midst of world of attraction and repulsion.
Verse 51
The yogi abiding in the soul-bliss, forsakes fleeting enjoyment of world. He revels in inner bliss and shines inwardly like a lamp placed in a pot.

बाह्यानित्यसुखासक्तिं हित्वात्मसुखनिर्वृतः ।
घटस्थदीपवत्स्वस्थं स्वान्तरेव प्रकाशते ॥ ५१॥
बाह्य अनित्य सुख आसक्तिम् हित्वा आत्मसुखनिर्वृतः घटस्थ दीपवत् स्वस्थः स्वान्तः एव प्रकाशते
बाह्य-external अनित्य-fleeting सुख आसक्तिम्-attachment for happiness हित्वा- having abandoned आत्मसुखनिर्वृतः (आत्म सुख निर्वृतः)- satisfied with bliss coming from inside घटस्थ दीपवत् स्वस्थः-still like a lamp placed inside a pot स्वान्तः-within himself एव-alone प्रकाशते-shines

The self-abiding Jivanmukta relinquishes all his attachments to the external fleeting happiness. He is contended with the bliss derived from the atman, and shines inwardly like a lamp placed inside a pot.
Chidatmananda says:
The happiness is of two types, one derived from the external world and the other which is one’s own nature. The first one is called विषयानंद. It is set up based. The happiness is derived from the sense objects, possession, position, power, relation etc. It is neither predictable, nor sustainable for extended period of time. The same logic applies to security and peace.
This second type of happiness is called आत्मानंद or the bliss of the self. It is one’s own nature. It is a perennial source of joy, peace and security. It is not dependent on the external world and so is not setup based.
बाह्य अनित्य सुख आसक्तिम् हित्वा – having abandoned all attachment for the fleeting joys of the outer world. हित्वा means त्यक्त्वा. The Atmarama, after having realized the fleeting nature of विषयानंद –sense- object based gratification as anatma and fleeting, abandons it.
The same idea is discussed in Gita as below:
बाह्यस्पर्शेष्वसक्तात्मा विन्दत्यात्मनि यत् सुखम् ।
स ब्रह्मयोगयुक्तात्मा सुखमक्षयमश्नुते ॥५ – २१॥

He, whose mind remains unattached to sense pleasures, discovers the joy of self through meditation with his mind united with Brahman and enjoys the transcendental bliss.

Why बाह्य सुख is अनित्य?
Gita says:
ये हि संस्पर्शजा भोगा दुःखयोनय एव ते ।
आद्यन्तवन्तः कौन्तेय न तेषु रमते बुधः ॥५ – २२॥

Sensual pleasures born of contact with sense organs and sense objects are in fact, the source of misery and have a beginning and end. Therefore, the wise do not rejoice in sensual pleasures.

मात्रास्पर्शास्तु कौन्तेय शीतोष्णसुखदुःखदाः ।
आगमापायिनोऽनित्यास्तांस्तितिक्षस्व भारत ॥२:१४॥

O son of Kunti (Arjuna), the contacts of the senses with sense objects give rise to the feelings of cold and heat, pleasure and pain. They are transitory and therefore endure with them bravely.

आत्मसुखनिर्वृतः- He is contented with the bliss derived from the Self. He abandons the fleeting happiness based on objects.
घटस्थ दीपवत् स्वस्थः स्वान्तः एव प्रकाशते –he stays still like a lamp placed inside a pot, and shines inside alone within himself. Just as a lamp placed inside a jar glows without any disturbance from the wind, the jnyani stays unperturbed by external situations.
यथा दीपो निवातस्थो नेङ्गते सोपमा स्मृता ।
योगिनो यतचित्तस्य युञ्जतो योगमात्मनः ॥६:१९॥

‘As a lamp placed in a windless place’ is a simile used to describe the yogi of a controlled mind, practicing the yoga of the self.

Verse 52
The realized man lives without being attached with the upadhis. He moves about everywhere like wind without being attached.

उपाधिस्थोऽपि तद्धर्मैरलिप्तो व्योमवन्मुनिः ।
सर्वविन्मूढवत्तिष्ठेदसक्तो वायुवच्चरेत् ॥ ५२॥
उपाधिस्थः अपि तद्धर्मैः अलिप्तः व्योमवत् मुनिः सर्ववित् मूढवत् तिष्ठेत् असक्तः वायुवत् चरेत्
उपाधिस्थः- associated with upadhis-conditionings अपि-although तद्धर्मैः-from their attributes अलिप्तः-untainted व्योमवत्-like space मुनिः-the contemplative one सर्ववित्-(although) one who knows everything मूढवत्-like a fool तिष्ठेत्-remains असक्तः-unattached वायुवत्-like the wind चरेत्-moves about

Though the Jnyani lives amongst the upadhis, he stays unconcerned, unattached with them like space. Though he knows everything, he acts like a dullard. He moves about everywhere freely like wind without attaching to anything.
उपाधिस्थः अपि तद्धर्मैः अलिप्तः असक्तः व्योमवत् मुनिः – Though living with Upadhis and their attributes, the contemplative one is unattached to them, like Space. The jnyani continues to be in the midst of upadhis even after dawn of knowledge. The gross, subtle and causal bodies, the people, OET, relationship are all upadhis or conditionings amongst which an ordinary man as well as a jnyani have to live. The upadhis cause various reactions in ordinary man. But a jnyani stays unattached to them (अलिप्तः). He has to face all the benefits and burden of the upadhis inherited by his past karmas (prarabdha karma). He has to face natural calamities, personal loss equally as an ordinary man. The difference is a yogi faces all the experiences with a stoic mind whereas an ordinary man is battered, shattered and buffeted by such experiences. For ordinary person happiness, safety and security is obtained from external objects. So, they have limitations of time and space. A yogi obtains his strength from his knowledge about his own supreme nature. It is a permanent source of joy and security for him.
सर्ववित् मूढवत् तिष्ठेत् असक्तः वायुवत् चरेत् – though knowing everything, he may behave as a fool; he stays totally unattached. He moves about everywhere like wind without getting attached to anything. In this second line is explained how a jnyani conducts himself in this world. A person of self-knowledge knows thoroughly the nature of the transient world and his permanent status as Brahman. He does not boast about his status. A man of incomplete wisdom picks out his glittering golden timepiece from his pocket and announces the time on hourly basis. But a man of true wisdom tells the time only when asked. Since he does not have to impress any one or has to gain anything from others, he often behaves like an idiot. There is a story of Saint Gajanan Maharaj of Shegaon, Maharashtra. He was a jivan Mukta but lived like a mad chap. He used to eat from the left overs thrown in the trash near function Halls. The boys used to throw stone at him till a Good Samaritan identified that he is indeed a realized man but not a mad chap. There is a big Samadhi constructed for him in Shegaon, Maharashtra where hundreads of devotes visit to have his darshan.
असक्तः वायुवत् चरेत्- just as air moves everywhere without getting attached to it, the jnyani also meets all the people everywhere without getting attached to any person or place.
Verse 53
On the destruction of upadhis, the yogi lives in communion with Brahman juist like a given water, space and light merge with water, space and light

उपाधिविलयाद्विष्णौ निर्विशेषं विशेन्मुनिः ।
जले जलं वियद्व्योम्नि तेजस्तेजसि वा यथा ॥ ५३॥
उपाधिविलयात् विष्णौ निर्विशेषम् विशेत् मुनिः जले जलम् वियत् व्योम्नि तेजः तेजसि वा यथा
उपाधिविलयात्-on the destruction of upadhis or conditionings विष्णौ-in the all-pervading spirit निर्विशेषम्-totally, without any trace left over विशेत्-merges मुनिः-the contemplative one जले-into the water जलम्-water वियत्-the space व्योम्नि-into the space तेजः-light तेजसि-into the light वा-and यथा-just as

On the destruction of the upadhis, the contemplative one is totally absorbed in ‘Vishnu’, the All-pervading Spirit,
like water into water, space into space and light into light.
उपाधिविलयात्– on the dissolution of conditionings. On the death of a jnyani there is dissolution of the upadhis of sthula, sukshma and Karana sharira.
विष्णौ निर्विशेषम् विशेत् मुनिः – Jivatma merges into the all-pervading Vishnu. Vishnu should not be confused with शङ्क चक्र गदाधारी विष्णुः. Vishnu means all pervading Brahman.

एषा ब्राम्हीस्तितिः पार्थ नैनां प्राप्य विमुह्यति । स्थित्वास्यामन्तकालेऽपि ब्रह्मनिर्वाणमृच्छति ||२:७२||

O Arjuna, this is the superconscious state of the mind (established in Brahman). Attaining this state one overcomes delusion. And established in this state even at the end of life, he attains the final, irrevocable state of God-communion.
ब्रह्म निर्वाणम् ऋछति. How does he merge? There is no physical event here like merging into the head or the body of Brahman. Merging is निर्विशेषम् indistinguishable. When a pot is broken pot space merges into total space, घटाकाश merges into महाकाश. Similarly, the jnyani or ब्रह्मवित् merges with Brahman. If physical body is gone another physical body can come. If subtle body is gone another subtle body can be produced. But if causal body is gone there is no question of rebirth.
जले जलम् वियत् व्योम्नि तेजः तेजसि वा यथा – Just as the water merges into water, the space into space, and light into light, Jivatma merges into Paramatma, making the jnyani attribute-less and without any differentiation. Waters of a river flow into the sea without any differentiation. Similarly, the pot space merges into the total space, and the candle light merges into a lamp light.
The following explanation is based on Chidatmananda’s commentary.
In this shloka, another important concept called videha mukti is talked about. What is Videha mukti? Jiva has three types of karma in his account. These are:
1. संचित (Sanchita) or accumulated karmas which will fructify at a future date
2. आगामि /क्रियामाण Agami or kriya mana karma which the person is currently accumulating
3. प्रारब्ध Prarabdha which is programmed to experience in the present life. Jiva takes human body for this purpose only.
The phenomenon can be explained by an example. Suppose a trader has stock of rice in his ware house and he wants to sell it. The stock of rice acquired and stored by him in the store house, represents Sanchita Karma. He lifts a part of the stock to his shop from the ware house. This represents aagami karma and whatever is being sold in a day is the prarabdha karma.
Now, when an ignorant person dies, his prarabdha karma is exhausted and the body falls off and merges with the panchabhutas. But his sanchita and agami karmas are not neutralized. So, his sukshma sharira and karana sharira are carried by the jiva for the next birth. This cycle continues for as long as all his karmas are not nullified.
In the case of a jnyani, however, the situation is different. In his case, the prarabdha karma is exhausted by him by going through the set of experiences that was programmed for him. When he attains Self-Knowledge, all his aagami karmas are avoided and sanchita karmas are roasted in the fire of knowledge. So, the sthula shareera after the exhaustion of the prarabdha karmas falls off. The sukshama and Karana shareeras merge into the sukshma prapancha and Karana prapancha respectively. That leaves jnyani without any taint of connection with his erstwhile life on earth. Just as, when the pot is broken the pot space merges into the total space, similarly the jnyani becomes one with the one Reality Brahman. So, there are no more rebirths for the jnyani. That is mission accomplished. The jpuney is completed after reaching destination. This process is called videha mukti.