Sat Darshana Bashya – The ‘I’ Sense

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IV – The ‘I’ Sense

As the ego, which is the direct and immediate sense of ‘I’, is centred and figured in each of the distinct and separate individuals in a subtle movement of life-force and mind-stuff, it is termed Jiva here. This sense of ‘I’ is separate in each individual being and preserving the distinctness of the individual, behaves in a manner that would strengthen the individual’s distinct character. But, such a movement of the ego or the apparent self has its root and support in something that is the real basis of individuality and that does not move with or lose itself in the movement of the apparent self, a something that is a continuous conscious principle related to the past, present and future; that is the Real Self signified, the Lakshyartha, in the individual, of which the ego is the apparent self. This latter is different in different individuals and is loosely called the Jiva Atman. But, Atman the self is really one; the self of all individuals as of all existence is one. But, Jivas or living beings are many, as many as the individuals are formed. These are soul-formations that are dissoluble in time, unlike their supporting self which is eternal, being identical with the Infinite Eternal which maintains its many-centred existence in an endless movement of formation and dissolution.

Thus, we see that there are three distinct senses in which ‘I’ is used. The supreme meaning of ‘I’, its Paramartha, is the Purusha who becomes the Lakshyartha (the signified sense) in the individual, as it is the same self that presides over individual existence and the immediate or apparent sense of ‘I’ (Vachyartha) is the ego or the apparent self formed temporarily for purposes of individuation. Threefold then is the sense of the Self, the ‘I’ and in its threefold sense it is to be understood.

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