Vedantic Wednesday: Difference Between The Seer And The Seen

Earlier we had discussed that our spiritual journey starts with a seed of a small TARVAS~1doubt  The doubt that the ‘I’ we know is separate from the visible physical identity. That we could possibly be something other than our body.

Many of our spiritual texts work relentlessly to make this point –  it is stated as an aphorism, it is written down as the rules, it is hidden in stories, it is present in soulful hymns. But to little avail – we remain firm on the belief that we are our body! And the masters do not give up – they try and make it easier for us.

One of the logic that they put in front of us for consideration is the difference between the seer and the seen.  All of us are familiar with the fact that subject and object are two different entities.   This is mentioned in Vedanta as ‘drg-drsya-viveka’. Literal translation of this Sanskrit phrase is ‘the seer subject is different from the seen object’. You are convinced when you see a chair – you and chair are different. You are not the chair. When you see a tree – you are sure you and the tree are different. One can go on giving further proofs to this statement that seer and seen are different.

Now lets extrapolate this – you see your body. In which case case ‘you’ the subject has to be different from ‘your body’ the object. So Vedanta asks how you can say you are the body? It urges you to think  – can you then be something other than the body?

In this logic there is a childlike simplicity. It seems so obvious. But as adults we just cannot accept this.  This is because from birth we are conditioned to relate to our body.

So while we may try to shout this down – Vedanta only tells us to consider if there could be any chance that we are not our body?

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