In Yog vashist, an allegorical anecdote is repeated ‘N’ times…
A witness witnesses a crow sitting on a coconut tree.As soon as the crow flew , a coconut fell down on the earth.The witness wrongfully co-relates that because the crow flew from the tree; a coconut fell down.
In reality, if the crow hadn’t flew, the coconut would have still dropped down.
It has been mentioned that it is the wrongful identification with this body(or mind) that is the root cause of all ignorance.
Sage vashist reveals to Rama that the greatest virtue is the renunciation of mind-the ephemeral ‘l’.
This ‘I’ is the reflection of the real unversal ‘I’-the Shiva. Shiva is the supreme ‘I’, the consciousness of the consciousness. The transitory ‘I’, that is according to KS-the contracted form the universal ‘I’- embodies itself or limits itself or creates an feeling of a separate ‘I'(duality or maya)
Out of play, the shiva(consciousness)(experient)who has the nature of Ananda(bliss)-wants to experience ‘Ananda’ in knowledge(pramana) as well as object of knowledge(prameya).But to have these both attributes, there should be time, space and ‘I’.
The supreme ‘I’ because of ‘Bliss’ creates maya, and the only one I.e ‘I’-the shiva-gets contracted , the attributes of universal ‘I’ gets contracted too once it comes In contact(or enters) Maya.
According to KS..following contractions happen to the universal ‘I’- who is originally full of
Chaitanya gets contracted and becomes Kala(कला)-limited creativity
And Niyati(…this is space)
Because ‘I’ the Shiva(consciousness of consciouness) is the universal first person, it always remains the first person, ‘I'(though limited, once it comes In maya) and the knowledge and object of knowledge remains the 2nd/3rd person. Because ‘I’ loose the unlimited creativity(because of contraction and becomes Kala) , the unlimited knowledge associated with it too gets contracted(vidya)….Then arises Raga(attachment)…..the ‘I’ is in the process of attaching itself to the objects of all the duality or differentiated consciousness. It becomes this whole universe full of sentient(in the form of knowledge and object of knowledge) and insentient beings(in the form of knowledge of insentient)….The universal ‘I’ becomes the ‘I’ of you and me and all beings.
Kaal and niyati…in other words denote the time and space. Space is internal too i.e ChidAkash…it denotes the space inside our mind, where thoughts and feelings rise and fall…
A child remains in the stage of non-duality(and bliss) , till he/she ignorantly superimpose their consciousness on their bodies and entrap themselves as , ‘I am this body ( in time and space)
If we meditate on the transitory ‘I’, and try to find out the source ‘ME’, we realise that we or ‘ME’ is a witness to all the physical and mental activities.We can negate anything and everything that we are witness of, because that is the 2nd/3rd person and the witness (of witness) always remains the first person.
If we delibrate further, we can go up to the void, out of which the mind and its thinking faculity arise. It is not possible to go beyond that void, through the means of mind -which is a synonym of duality.
Vedantis say when we are not aware of ourselves, mind comes into effect instantly; and when we concentrate on mind, it ceases to exist and we remain just as an awareness.But to maintain that awareness is difficult.
‘I’ of supreme consciousness is non dual in nature so is the transitory (dual) consciousness as long as we maintain/center our awareness on it.
It too is pure awareness as long as we maintain that one-pointednesss. And it becomes truly dual ‘I’ when that awareness is broken, and that ‘I’ becomes the source of all duality…
However….it like shiva-The universal first person always remain the first person.
Abhinavgupta has mentioned Shiva as the ever present ‘NOW’, Shakti as ‘Future’ and past as ‘Pashu’ or ephemeral being.He also mentions that future and past have their origin in ‘NOW’-which is ever present.
This ‘NOW’ is again the synonym of ‘I’ or awareness.
In our lives too, everything is centered around ‘I’. Thinking of past or future is possible only because of ‘NOW’-the ‘I’.without this ‘I’ nothing exists not even ‘NOTHING’ or ‘VOID’.
The ephemeral being as written above denotes himself as ‘I’ and almost everyone belives or has experienced that ‘HE’ has never really changed, though his body has grown old. Somehow the witness(I) of the changes never change.
Subconsciously and linguistically, we have firm faith that the witness(I) is eternal.if someone dies, we say , May he go to heaven’ or VBAJ. What does that mean!
Who will go to heaven or Vaikunth? For example, if I imagine of my death, I immediately picture myself in Heaven/Hell or Vaikunth. Who is it that I am imagining myself to be! I will have no physical body but that does not deter me.Isn’t it that the ‘I’ that I imagine to go to heaven is the witness-whom I know by ‘I’.
It is for that ‘I’ we perform ‘Shraddh’ or other religious practices as we (all human race) have firm belief that the witness will remain, though somewhere else.
The ‘I’ is the first thought that arises when we wake up in the morning and it remains the last when we fall sleep.The dreams too are centered around the ‘I’ and so is the deep sleep.
Shiva- the ‘I’ is sarv-vyapak(ever pervading). He is the awareness of awareness.Revealing and concealing his own self is his play.
But nonetheless , he remains in us as the ever present witness whom we call ‘I’ .
(based on the philosophies of Vedant and Kashmir shaivism)