Karma is here action verticalized.
The instrumentalism of Dewey - see Bergson.
Karma corrected is Dharma.
The corrective to wrong action is Dharma.
Pragmatism means positive action.
The personality is seen as an instrument.

This chapter is:

Kutastha - the Self established on a rock, alone.
A false soul standing on a rock is compared to Karma.
Karma is verticalized action, pure action, instrumentalism;
not ritualism, fate, etc.
Here, it refers to the plus side.
Corrected Karma is called Dharma, or right action.
This is like the instrumentalism of John Dewey: he says:
"We are all instruments of action" :
this is functionalism or operationalism.
They do not want to talk about a soul or God
- thus they talk of instruments.
Man is acting: the motive force is the Self, which is seeking.
The Self on the negative side is an instrument of action
on the positive side.

See Dewey, Bergson.
Bergson starts from the ontological.
The motive force is the Self.
The non-Self is the functional side.
The function of the non-Self is to produce the Self.



It is indeed the Self, though Self-luminous
And detached, that through negativity
Does action bearing many forms,
Like the dream-agent in sleep.





The gap between ends and means is indeterminism (Maya).
Through Maya there is interaction between the Self and the non-Self.
The Absolute Self is actionless vertically - horizontally it has actions.



It is the Self, through Maya, that performs all Karma (Action).
The cause is the Self and the effect is the non-Self.
The principle of indeterminism intervenes
between the Self and the non-Self, causing them to interact.
The Atma, or Absolute Self is actionless and vertical.
The horizontal version of the Self has many actions.
The denominator Self is the cause of action.



"I think, I speak, I grasp, I hear."
In forms such as these are actions accomplished
By the supreme Self, which is also
The Self of pure reason and the senses.

Most elementary actions are itemised here.
These are delicate and pure forms of action.
Passivity is evidenced here. It is the Paramatma or Cittendriyatma, the denominator Self, by which action is performed.



Prior to action, it is the Self that exists
There is nothing else at all
Through the Self, by its own negative principle
By itself, are accomplished all actions
Anterior to action is the Self alone.

Maya has a negative and horizontal influence here which keeps things swinging.



From the Self, not different from itself
There exists a certain undefinable specificatory power
By that power, all actions
Are falsely attributed to the actionless Self.

The paradox of action and the actor.
Eliminate duality - there is really no action at all:
just as there is no water in a mirage.
So there is no action when the situation is verticalized.



The Self is always detached indeed.
One performs action as if attached due to ignorance.
The wise man, saying "I do nothing,"
Is not interested in action.

When eating, you should say, "I do nothing", and thus banish relativity.



The one Self alone as fire it burns,
As wind it blows,
As water it rains,
As earth it supports and as a river it flows.

Is a fire burning action? Individually, yes.
But it is really only the positive side of the Absolute,
cancel it against the negative side.
There is no action, action is relative to the whole.
All is absorbed in the whole.



The one Self alone, remaining actionless,
Moves as upward and downward vital tendencies
Within the nervous centres, indeed,
It beats, murmurs and pulsates.

Inside the body you hear murmurs, etc.
Again cancel out the paradox.
Inside the body there are different palpitations and flows –
there is no action when viewed absolutely.
The one who hears is the supreme Self.
The stress is now on the plus side, the garland is ascending.



Here in this visible world, as what exists,
Grows, transforms, decreases and attains its end -
As subject to six forms of becoming -
That is no other than the actionless Self.

Existence, birth, growth, change, death, etc.
are all biological and horizontal.
Verticalize them and they are abolished.


By means of the inner organs and the senses
Actions become Self-accomplished.
However, the wise man knows,
"I am the unattached, inner well-founded one"

It is the Self that causes action, but you should say: "I do nothing".

The Omega Point Self is the result of the alpha point Self:
cancel both into the Absolute Self.

The Omega Point is the result of action.
The Alpha Point is the cause of action.
These cancel out into the Absolute.



Because of being an object of experience,
Even the "I" is a conditioning factor,
Superimposed like the mother-of-pearl gleam.
Above everything else, today and tomorrow one alone is.

By being objective reality, even the Self; because you see it as the non-Self, is a kind of conditioning: even as a reflected glory it comes under the eternal.

In this Darsana we have changed from descending to ascending dialectics, we arrive at an Omega Point like the mother-of-pearl: we get a God who is conditioned.
Action and actor cancel in the Absolute.



Now we come to reason which is seen here as a function of the Self.
Previously it was seen as action;
in this vision it is white hot as opposed to red hot.

Red Hot = Action
White hot = Reason

When the frequencies are very high, we get reason.
Kant writes of Pure Reason and Practical Reason.
Both are activities of consciousness.










Awareness is one and unconditioned indeed,
There is also the conditioned.
Awareness without egoism etc.,
That is the unconditioned.

The two kinds of reasoning are presented:
pure, or unconditioned - and practical, or conditioned.





That which is accompanied by egoism as if inside,
And which again as qualified by this-ness is
Accompanied by conscious activity,
Such awareness is to be understood as conditioned.

Conditioned reasoning is presented here:
Conditioned reason is: "I think that I am thinking."
Unconditioned reason is when there is no thought of thinking at all.



That by which are experienced all things
Of the non-Self, such as egoism, etc.,
And even by which immortality is enjoyed,
As the Witness, is Self-awareness.

"I am conscious of my ego, and can distinguish the two aspects of the Self.
When a man says that, he has Self-Awareness.
Knowing the difference between the true Self and the false Self
is Self-awareness,(Atma Jnana).


As innumerable effects of egoism,etc.,
What as pertaining to the non-Self
Attains to awareness, that is said to be
Awareness of the non-Self.

Awareness of the non-Self is dealt with here:
this means being lost in Pluralism and a plurality of interests.

“What profiteth it a man if he gaineth the whole world and loseth his own soul”
This is the converse of the previous verse.
To be lost in pluralism is Anatma Jnana.



Knowing things as they really are,
As when one attains to the truth of the rope,
What makes for such is true awareness,
Wrong awareness is what is otherwise.

Knowing after proper scrutiny is called true knowledge:
other knowledge is false knowledge.
Both are awareness of a conditioned order.



By the very presence of which everything looms
In consciousness by itself,
That awareness is indicated as empirical awareness,
And also as non-transcendental awareness.

Pratyaksha is empirical awareness, as given to the senses.
By its presence it declares its proof, it requires no logic.
A lamp is proved by its very existence,
this is ontological knowledge.



That function of awareness by which
The means to an end is appraised,
And which arises out of associative innate disposition,
That is inferential awareness.

Inferential Awareness is when you see smoke and infer that fire is there: this is called Anumiti.
This is called Inferential knowledge - as when fire is inferred from smoke.



On going near to an object to be ascertained,
What - in the form of "this is the animal known by such marks"-
Is the functional basis for certitude,
That is said to be analogical awareness.

Analogical Awareness, or Upamiti, is the subject here.

If you read the description of an Okapi
- it has stripes like a zebra and it looks like a giraffe
- when you see one, you recognise it from the description by analogy, this is Upamiti.

In the same way, you have not had the experience of Brahman, but you have heard of it and work towards it.

This is all-important for Brahma-Vidya.



That awareness of "I" and "mine"
And that other as "this" or "that"-
The former as vital awareness, and the latter
As sense awareness, is declared.

Do not mix these up:
Jiva Jnanam: vital awareness.
Indriya Jnanam: sense awareness.

See Bergson in his “Durée et Simultanéité”, where he discusses time and space.
"Horizontally viewed, one second can become one thousand years, vertically viewed one thousand
years can become one second." Henri Bergson.



Designated as AUM, THAT EXISTS,
Attained to unity of Absolute and Self,
Devoid of willing and other functions -
That is said to be the ultimate awareness.

You get certain knowledge, Parajnanam, from the Mantra "Aum Tat Sat". (Aum, that exists).
This is only for contemplatives.
This is called ultimate awareness.

A Parajnani is aware of something beyond, on the plus side.
A Jnani understands subjectively.

Appraise the transcendental from the immanent, as a witness.
This is the strict Vedantic position.
Experience truth like a gooseberry in your hand.
Every chapter is about the Absolute.

Chapter 6 is not overt action, but somewhat contemplative.

Chapter 7 : reason is action, but more so, much more so.
It is action at a higher frequency.
Narayana Guru distinguishes only four kinds:
he applies Occam's Razor.

There is no real difference between Bhakti and Yoga.
Yoga is more advanced.

When a good fat housecat rolls in the sunlight, it is a yogi: this is natural Yoga.

Bhakti - there is no textbook.
In fact there are only two Yogas –
action and wisdom, Karma and Jnana
and even this distinction should also be abolished.
(see Bhagavad Gita)
The two meet in Vedanta.
Bhakti is frequent in North India.
It is essentially dualist.
" I am a mad dog lying on the roadside" Narayana Guru.

1) Bhakti is meditation on the Self - not unilateral external devotion.

2) Atma is replaced by Brahman.(The Self is replaced by the Absolute)

Brahman = Atma = Ananda. (The Absolute, the Self and Bliss are one).


The remaining chapters are going downhill and are not so difficult

Bhakti and Yoga can be treated together:
there is no real difference between them, more one of degree.
Bhakti is a kind of natural Yoga, a dog can have it;





Yoga is more advanced.

The two Yogas, Jnana Yoga and Karma Yoga, are to be treated as one - the two names meet in Advaita.
See the Bhagavad Gita.

Bhakti : there is no acceptable text for this Darsana.
It is more demonstrative and appeals to the public mind:
Bhaktas do not abolish paradox, but want to remain caught in it.

The "Gita Govindam" is a textbook for Bengali Bhaktas.
What is the legitimate way of treating Bhakti?
We can put the Absolute, the object of devotion, at the omega, 0 or alpha points.
No excesses.

"I am very humble, but I have a master who is very proud":
This is the proper cancellation, no unilateral Bhakti is permitted.
Sankara recommends Bhakti as the most superior way to liberation:
but contemplate the Self within yourself.



Meditation on the Self is contemplation,
Because the Self consists of bliss,
A knower of the Self meditates by the Self,
Upon the Self, for ever.

Bhakti is meditation on your own personality, or Self, under the aegis of the Absolute.
The soul is the dearest thing within man.
"The kingdom of God is within you".
The Self is the dearest of values.
Seek within.



The Absolute is meditated upon
Because it consists of bliss.
Constant meditation on the Absolute
Is thus known as contemplation.

Here there is a change from Atman to Brahman. It is full of bliss.
Ananda (bliss) is the value-content of the Absolute.
All truth has a value-content.



It is even bliss that all do meditate,
No one at all meditates suffering.
That which is meditation of bliss,
As contemplation it is thought.



It is the Self alone that contemplates the Absolute;
The knower of the Self meditates on the Self, and not on any other.
That which is meditation on the Self
Is said to be contemplation.

Bhakti is defined by the Atman because one worships one's own Self.



Bliss, the Self and the Absolute
Are said to be the names of this alone.
In whom there is such sure awareness,
He as a contemplative is well known.

Ananda - Brahman - Atman: (Bliss, the Self and the Absolute); these all mean the same.



"I am Bliss, I am the Absolute, I am the Self."
In whom, in such forms,
There is always creative imagination,
As a contemplative he is well known.

Describes the state of the Bhakta.
One in this state will be well-known as a contemplative.



The wife does not merely adore the husband,
Nor the husband merely adore the wife,
It is Self-bliss alone that they adore,
As lodged within every sensuous object.

Wife and husband are included here, as with Yajnyavalkya and Maitreyi (an Upanishadic Guru and his wife).
Both are put together into a circle which is dear to them:
"for the sake of the Self, we love each other".
There is no unilateral love or statements of love.



For the wise man who sees
Thus at any place whatever,
There is nothing at all other than Self-bliss.
Such contemplation verily is the highest.

Bhakti is when you feel the joy of the soul everywhere.
This is Saundarya as a value.
Atma Sukham or Self-Bliss.



Towards the Father of the World, to one`s
Spiritual teacher, father, mother,
Towards the Founders of Truth,and
Towards those who walk in the same path;


Towards those who put down evil,
And those who do good to all -
What sympathy there is, is devotion here,
While what here belongs to the Self Supreme is the ultimate.

This is a review of all kinds of Bhakti: the Father in Heaven,
Spiritual Teacher, etc.
There is a graded order: the father "there";
those who walk the path of truth "here".


One Mudra (gesture) is here given by Narayana Guru as a positive discipline.
The Asanas (positions) are thus left out by him.
Patanjali only mentions one Asana as required: sit straight.
The object is to forget your posture completely.
The Yogi should have one Asana at which he is so well practised that he can sit still and forget his body.
He should be able to sit for three hours.

Pranayama (Breath control) : the essence is found in the Gita:
"Forget to know whether you are breathing in or out" - it is cancelled out.
Narayana Guru here presents his revised version of Yoga, as properly understood in Vedanta.
Wilful austerities are for Sudras only: there are respectable Sastras and texts.



That which always unites the mind
With the reasoning Self, and also gets united with it,
And which is in the form of restraint,
That is praised as Yoga.

Yoga joins the mind with the reasoning Self, and gets united with it.
The second part is Narayana Guru's addition,
horizontal and vertical are joining.
Restraining is Horizontal.
Joining is vertical.



Where the seer, the sight and the seen
Are not present, there the heart
Should be joined, as long as incipient
memory-factors are present:

The object of meditation is to abolish and verticalize the three:
seer, sight and seen.



All this consisting of name-form, knowing
As verily the Absolute, the mind ever merges
In the Absolute, what constitutes such,
As Yoga is ascertained.

Abolish all multiplicity of name and form
- give them conceptual form.
When all plurality is abolished in the vertical, you get Yoga.



The unbroken functioning of reason
Which in the Self, like a streak of oil,
Finds incessant joy - such as Yoga
Is by Yogis recognized.

Yogis have a principle of continuity
- the streak is not to be broken.



To which or which order interest the mind goes,
From that or that other into the Self,
Ever restraining it, it should be joined,
In such Yoga here let it be united.

Pull the mind back if it goes to another subject or association.
Bring it back from horizontal tangential side-tracks.


Uprooting those incipient memory-factors of willing,
The source of all human disasters, he who
Together with their varied willed objects
Restrains in the form of Self, saying:



"What is seen has no existence as such,
"Thus what is seen is the seer's Self"-
He among knowers of Yoga
Is the most superior.

The expert understands the outgoing will as having to be merged into the vertical will.
Pluck outside interests and burn them in your consciousness.



When the mind-bee drinking
Of the nectar-sweetness of Self-bliss
Is drawn into union with Yoga breeze
And does not flutter, Yoga takes place.

The bee does not move when it enjoys the best honey:
that is the state of Yoga - forget yourself.



When meditation with gaze fixed between the eye-brows
And the tongue-tip touching beyond the uvula takes place
Then happens that space-freedom attitude
Of drowsiness and fatigue - dispelling capacity.

Kechari Mudra (“placing the tongue-tip…”): " move in the sky"
- this is a top secret of the Yogis.
Levitation takes place in psycho-physical space, which is vectorial or qualitative.



As of wisdom or action, Yoga in this world
Is of two kinds; and within these summarily
The whole of the further elaboration of Yoga
Is comprised conclusively.

Jnana and Karma.


Here, we are in the eschatological context.
This is the last jewel in the garland.
We must end where we began:
coming in (Chapter I) is reciprocal to going out (Chapter X).





Going out of this world is like a lamp going out without oil,
or a dewdrop sinking into the sea, as with the Buddhists.
Here, we take a more scientific approach.
This is the final form of spirituality, the final trick.
Thus, this Darsana touches the same ground as Chapter I.
A dying man; not physiologically, but the spiritual man.
The implications of death are seen contemplatively.
Eschatology is the contemplative term of life.
One who attains Nirvana: how does he act?
Narayana Guru enumerates the kinds of Nirvana,
but with peculiarities .


Emancipation is of two kinds -
What is pure and what is impure.
What is without incipient memory-factors that is pure,
Likewise, what is qualified by incipient memory-factors is impure.



"Pure" is not conditioned.
"Impure" is conditioned by instincts.



As pure and extra-pure, thus
Are two kinds, likewise,
The impure also as impure-pure
And impure-impure is spoken of.



The extra-pure is again of three kinds -
One is the elect, one is the more elect,
One is the most elect - while the pure
Exists in the simple knower of the Absolute.



The impure - pure is without passion and inertia,
The other is with passion and inertia.
The former as in one who desires liberation,
While the latter as in one who desire psychic powers is to be known.

Pure-impure desires liberation,
impure-impure desires Siddhis or psychic powers.
Finally "my" devotee will never be destroyed, as the Bhagavad Gita states - so you feed every swami,
even if he is a bad swami –
God will cancel him, not you.
You must credit him with his intentions.


Established in the Absolute, a knower of the Absolute,
By the fire of wisdom having burnt everything up,
Aiming at the good of the world,
Performs action according to what is considered as right.



He who renouncing all action,
Always established in the Absolute,
Continues the course of the bodily life,
In the world - he is the elect knower of the Absolute.

The normal Brahmavid (Brahman-knower, or knower of the Absolute.) does action according to what is right: this is the first rung.
He is wandering because he still has vitality left.



He who being informed by another is able to know,
But he himself does not know-
He is the more elect, who always
Enjoys absorption in the Absolute.

The superior knower of Brahman is the Brahmavidvarah.
There is no social service here, he is beyond that: a superior man.
Social work is only permitted to the beginner.



He who by himself does not know anything,
And even when made to know, knows not -
Such a one, always void of activity,
The most elect, is the Absolute alone in itself.

Here, he does not even eat unless told to or reminded.
"Here is food - eat it": “ I do not know this food
- eat it yourself or take it away”.



Of this world there is certainly nothing to be accepted or rejected,
As for the Self, it is Self-luminous.
Having understood thus, one should withdraw from all functionings,
Thereafter, function does not repeat itself.

Reject or accept nothing.
Be neutral - that is Nirvana.
Balanced between yes and no.
The only interest is in the Self.



The one Absolute alone is without a second,
Nothing else there is, no doubt herein.
Having thus understood, the well-instructed one
From duality should withdraw, he does not return again.

Avoid any duality - withdraw.
He does not return again.
To gain freedom from duality in the final term
I am as ready to die as to live.
Complete neutrality.
The final conclusion of the whole work is here.

DMNOTES1 notes taken by C. de Bruler from
26/12/70, in Varkala, Kerala, South India ( SAUNDARYA LAHARI/NOTES/SLC8). They are extracted from file SLC8
DMNOTES2 notes taken by P.Misson from the Guru’s lectures at Varkala, Originally extracted from file SLP5 (SAUNDARYA LAHARI/NOTES/SLP5 - 
SLP5 - p.48 to p.69 and p.73 to 80)