Non-correspondence Comprehension

Yuri Barzov
14 min readFeb 19, 2024
Picture by Dmitry Buterin

1. Sri Hari, Supreme Good, Master and Lord,

The Discerner, the Cause of All Worlds — I praise Him.

2. Non-correspondence comprehension is promised to be the means of salvation,

By wise only with diligence, sought again and again.

3. Observance of varna, ashrama, tapas and prayer to Hari -

Here are four means for people to achieve dispassion.

4. Dispassion for all objects: from Brahma to soulless rocks.

Like by crow droppings, dispassion is not stained by them.

5. Atman in its own form is eternal, but everything visible is the opposite.

Confidence in this is the correct discernment of the real.

6. Always abstracted from images (the mind) is called calm.

Restraint in external acts means mastery (of the body).

7. Aversion from objects is the highest abstinence.

Endurance in the face of all suffering — patience: this is a good thought.

8. Adherence to the word of Vedas and teachers is reputed to be faith.

Taking only one goal — the Essence, the mind is called concentrated.

9. “When, how will freedom from the shackles of samsara come to me, God?” –

This persistent thought can be called the desire for freedom.

10. Whoever accepted these provisions must still comprehend

Atman, as the ultimate goal of knowledge, seeking one’s own good.

11. Knowledge will not arise without comprehension in other means,

Just as without lighting an object cannot be recognized.

12. “Who am I?”, “How was everything born?” or “Who is known as the creator?”,

“And what is the material?” — that’s what this comprehension is about.

13. “I am not a body, a mixture of elements. I am not a collection of feelings.

There is a difference somewhere” — that’s what this comprehension is about.

14. “Everything arises from ignorance, everything will dissolve in knowledge.

Desire is the creator of everything” — that’s what this comprehension is about.

15. “The material of both is one: the undiminished, subtle Essence,

Like clay in all pots” — that’s what this comprehension is about.

16. “And I am one, undiminished, subtle Essence: the Knower, the Witness.

“I am That, without a doubt” — that’s what this comprehension is about.

17. Atman is partless, united. A body has many parts.

They are thought to be the same. Is there more ignorance than that?

18. Atman is the ruler, he is inside. A body is outside, it is ruled.

They are thought to be the same. Is there more ignorance than that?

19. Atman is from pure knowledge. A body is made of unclean flesh.

They are thought to be the same. Is there more ignorance than that?

20. Atman is both light and a lamp. A body is called darkness.

They are thought to be the same. Is there more ignorance than that?

21. Atman is eternal as the form of the Essence. A body is not eternal and not essential.

They are thought to be the same. Is there more ignorance than that?

22. Atman’s enlightenment gives awareness of objects.

But this radiance is not the brilliance of fire when the darkness of night is all around.

23. He who decides “I am a body” lives, alas, in delusion.

“It’s mine,” having imagined, he looks at it as if it were his own jug.

24. “I am Brahman himself: the tranquility of the properties of the Essence, the Good of the Mind.”

“I am not a body, the form of non-essence” — this is the knowledge of the wise.

25. “I am not produced, irremovable, undiminished, eternal.”

“I am not a body, the form of non-essence” — this is the knowledge of the wise.

26. “Not a semblance, not a reflection, not a fabrication. I am spread out.”

“I am not a body, the form of non-essence” — this is the knowledge of the wise.

27. “I am without qualities, without actions, eternal, free, unyielding,”

“I am not a body, the form of non-essence” — this is the knowledge of the wise.

28. “I am without spots, without movement, without end; I am pure, I do not grow old, I do not die.”

“I am not a body, the form of non-essence” — this is the knowledge of the wise.

29. In every body there is Purusha, recognized by all as the essence.

How stupid you are, considering Atman, which is higher than a body, to be nothing!

30. Listen to Vedas, fool, and reason: your Atman is Purusha,

Above a body, the Essential form, invisible only to those like you.

31. The word “I” always names the One, the Transcendent.

A coarse body is not singular; how can it be the subject?

32. “I”, of course, is the observer, but a body is observable, of course.

After all, it is said: “The body is mine.” How can it be the subject?

33. “I” cannot change; a body is eternally changeable.

It’s so obvious. How can a body be the subject?

34. “That which is above all,” is how Purusha is described in Shruti.

So says the seer. How can a body be the subject?

35. “Everything is Purusha,” as it is deliberately said in the Purusha Sukta.

If Shruti says this, how can a body be the subject?

36. “We can not touch Purusha,” says Brihadaranyaka.

Defiled by uncleanness, how can a body be the subject?

37. It is also stated there: “Purusha is illuminated by himself.”

How can a cold, from the outside illuminated body be the subject?

38. They said in the section on karma: “Atman is different from a body.

Eternal, he eats the fruits of deeds after the disintegration of a body.”

39. And a lingam is not one-piece: It is visible, mobile, changeable,

Not penetrating, the form of non-essence — how can it be the subject?

40. Different from both bodies, is only Atman-Purusha-Ishwara.

Atman of all, the form of all, above all is the eternal Self.

41. “But, with the difference between a body and Atman, the essence is in manifestation.

This is what logic teaches us. What to do with the objectivity of Purusha?”

42. “The difference between a body and Atman denies the essence of a body.”

Below is a special explanation of the non-essence of a body.

43. In view of the unity of the form of consciousness, difference is unthinkable,

An individual is also false knowledge, just as a snake in a rope.

44. Like a rope, due to ignorance, will instantly turn into a snake -

Thus consciousness, although pure, will turn into any form.

45. There is no material of manifestation other than Brahman.

Therefore, everything manifested is only Brahman, and nothing else.

46. Neither subject nor object apart, since it is said: “Everything is Atman.”

If the truth is known, there will be no distinction.

47. Direct evasion of Shruti is false teaching about many things.

How is anything other than the non-dual cause possible?

48. It is said about sin in Shruti: “Death after death comes

To the one deceived by Maya, who sees multiplicity here.”

49. All beings are born from Brahman, Supreme Atman.

Therefore they are all Brahman: this must be understood.

50. Brahman contains everything in himself — all names and various forms,

And actions : this is what is said in Shruti.

51. What is born from gold will remain golden forever.

Whatever is born from Brahman will remain in Brahmanhood.

52. Those allowing at least a little bit for the otherness of an individual,

The difference with Supreme Atman expose themselves to fear.

53. Where there is binaryness due to ignorance, everything seems different.

Where everything is seen as Atman, even an atom is undistinguishable.

54. He to whom all beings are known only in Atmanicity,

He is not subject to delusion or sorrow: he is non-dual.

55. This Atman is Brahman himself: he affirms everything by himself.

This is how instructs us Shruti — part of Brihadaranyaka.

56. Although this world is perceivable and phenomenally given -

It is like a dream, the form of non-essence, immersed in contradictions.

57. Sleep is false when you wake up, there is no wakefulness in sleep.

In fainting both are not present , there is no fainting in both.

58. All three states are false, they are the product of three gunas,

The observer of this is above the three gunas: the Eternity, the Essence, the Unitary Subject.

59. As in clay separately — a pot or in pearls — silver

They don’t see an individual in Brahman when the latter is identified.

60. Like a pot is only a name in clay, an earring is a name in gold,

In pearls there is silver, so an individual is only a name in the Supreme.

61. And it’s like blue color in the sky, like a mirage in the desert,

Just like a person in a pillar, so everything is hidden in Atman.

62. Like a ghost in the void, the Gandharva city,

Two moons in space, the whole world is also contained in the Essence.

63. Like waves and surf — one water, only in a cycle,

Just like there is only copper in any vessel, Atman is in any space.

64. Like the name of a pot hides clay, the name of fabric hides threads,

Thus, the name of the world hides what is recognized behind it.

65. Every appearance for people is created by Brahman.

The ignorant do not know that it is like clay in pots.

66. A pot is related to clay, as the effect to the cause.

Shruti agrees that the same is true for the world and Brahman.

67. When perceiving a pot, it is noticeable only because of clay.

When studying phenomena, only the brilliance of Brahman is visible.

68. Atman always shines clearly and always unclearly;

He is twofold, like a rope, for those who know and those who do not know.

69. A pot is made of clay, a body is made of the mind,

The difference between Atman and non-Atman is unimportant to the wise.

70. As for a snake — a rope, or as for silver — pearls,

Atman is completely mistaken for a body by the ignorant.

71. Like clay in a pot and like threads in fabric,

Atman is completely mistaken for a body by the ignorant.

72. Like gold in earrings or like water in waves are not seen,

Atman is completely mistaken for a body by the ignorant.

73. A pillar is mistaken for a thief, a mirage is mistaken for water -

Atman is completely mistaken for a body by the ignorant.

74. Logs seem to be a house, a steel strip seems to be a blade.

Atman is completely mistaken for a body by the ignorant.

75. Like a tree appears upside down in water,

So in Atman they see corporeality due to ignorance.

76. A person sailing in a boat sees everything as if it is moving.

So in Atman they see corporeality due to ignorance.

77. How, when you have jaundice, you see everything white as yellow,

So in Atman they see corporeality due to ignorance.

78. As when the eyes tremble, everything in one’s gaze begins to wander,

So in Atman they see corporeality due to ignorance.

79. If you rotate a firebrand, it will be round like the sun.

So in Atman they see corporeality due to ignorance.

80. Even large objects will appear small from a distance,

So in Atman they see corporeality due to ignorance.

81. Even small things appear larger close to the eye,

So in Atman they see corporeality due to ignorance.

82. The surface of glass looks like water, the surface of water looks like glass,

So in Atman they see corporeality due to ignorance.

83. They will mistake a ruby for fire, they will mistake fire for a ruby.

So in Atman they see corporeality due to ignorance,

84. When the clouds are running, it looks like the moon runs.

So in Atman they see corporeality due to ignorance.

85. Like when you’re dizzy, the cardinal directions rotate,

So in Atman they see corporeality due to ignorance,

86. As sometimes the moon seems to run in the running waters,

So in Atman they see corporeality due to ignorance,

87. If Atman is unknown, an illusion arises — a body.

But if Atman is known, it will dissolve in Atman.

88. The whole world, living and inanimate, can be learned only as Atman.

Given the non-existence of all bodies and beings, how can they be Atman?

89. Many-wise! Give all your time to the learning of Atman.

Having completely tempted fate, you can live without anxiety.

90. “He who finds the knowledge of Atman will not be saved from fate,”

This is written in Shastra. We will now refute this.

91. If the knowledge of truth has arisen, fate has no influence,

After all, a body became non-existent, like a dream after waking up.

92. The action of past lives is what is called fate.

But since the past life is non-existent, then it does not exist either.

93. Just like a body in a dream is an illusion this body too,

But if life is illusory, there is no life — there are no actions.

94. The manifested material, like clay for a pot,

Ignorance, according to Vedanta, is for everything.

95. Just as a rope is considered a snake when viewed incorrectly,

Likewise, without knowing the essence, the lost mind notices the world.

96. When an image of a rope is recognized, a ghost of a snake disappears,

If the basis is known, the world in emptiness will disappear.

97. A body, therefore, is a phantom. How can fate survive?

Shruti says about fate for the sake of knowledge in ignorance

98. “His actions were wasted when he saw the Supreme” –

Shruti denies it clearly, among many actions.

99. “Whoever, without knowing it, insists otherwise is guilty of two mistakes:

He rejects Vedanta and knowledge,” says Shruti.

100. I will tell you about fifteen steps necessary, in the sense mentioned above.

All of them should be constantly and effectively practiced.

101. One cannot comprehend without repeating Atman as the Essence and Good.

Let him who thirsts for knowledge think about Brahman longer.

102. Yama, niyama and tyaga, mouna, desha and kala,

Asana and mulabandha, dehasamya and drik-sthiti,

103. Pranasamyana, as well as pratyahara and dharana,

Atmadhyana and samadhi are the stages in order.

104. “Everything is Brahman,” recognizing, commanding a crowd of feelings,

They call it “yama”. Practice it without counting.

105. Developing the related, rejecting the alien

Here is “niyama”. From “niyama” to the wise is the highest bliss.

106. “Tyaga” is recognising Atman behind the form of the world.

“Tyaga” is honored by the greats: its essence is liberation.

107. The word will retreat from him, together with the thought, without reaching -

This is the “mouna” of yogis, let the wise one abide in it.

108. From whom the word will retreat — who is able to say about him?

Even if you say about everything in the world, you won’t be able to capture him in words.

109. What is called “mouna” is called “sahaja” by the wise.

“Mouna” is for teenagers: this is how Brahmavadin teaches

110. There will be no separate beginning, end, or middle,

But what penetrates the whole world is called the point place:

111. In time, everything, beginning with Brahma, arises instantly.

The word “time” refers to a good moment that cannot be divided into two.

112. The state in which it is good to think about Brahman,

Is called “asana” — but not the one that is uncomfortable.

113. “Siddha” is the source of all existence, the unshakable foundation,

The perfect pose is known as Siddha Asana.

114. The root of all beings, as well as the root of mastery of reason, is

“Mulabandha”: it is always appropriate and suitable for rajayogis.

115. The balance of the limbs is known as dissolution in Brahman.

Without it there is no balance, but the stiffness of a dry tree.

116. Turning their gaze to knowledge, they see that the whole world is Brahman.

This gaze is only beneficial, not a glance at the tip of the nose

117. Only there where the observer, the observed and the observation can not be distinguished

You should direct your gaze, not at the tip of your nose.

118. Brahman is only in all existences, such as the mind and others.

The cessation of all movements is called “pranayama”.

119. Denial of the world is an exhalation of air.

The thought “I am Brahman” is an inhalation of air.

120. Maintaining this thought will be holding your breath

So it is for the wise. Fools shut their noses.

121. Having seen the Self in objects, the reason is immersed in the mind.

This is called “pratyahara”, for all those who thirst for freedom.

122. Wherever the mind reaches, it sees Brahman everywhere.

There, maintaining the mind is “dharana” in the highest sense.

123. The state of true thought not shaped into the form “I am Brahman”,

Is called by the word “dhyana”: the highest benefit is given by it.

124. Having made thought permanent and given it the form of Brahman,

And making it properly distributed: it is called knowledge, or samadhi.

125. Let the ascetic strengthen himself in this uncreated good.

Having mastered it, he will be able to summon it instantly.

126. And then he will become a free of means and perfect yogi.

But it cannot be formalized only in thought or word.

127. To achieving samadhi there will be many obstacles:

Violation of routine, laziness, desire for pleasure.

128. Confusion, dullness, temptation, absent-mindedness and emptiness -

These are the obstacles — among many — to those who seek Brahman.

129. The thought of existence also exists, the thought of emptiness is empty.

The thought of fullness is also full. Practice being fully thoughtful.

130. Those who have mentally abandoned the purity and heights of Brahman,

They live in vain, and although people they are like animals.

131. Those who realized this thought, having realized it, nurtured it, -

Are the best people, happy, and respectable in the three worlds.

132. Those in whom this thought grows and also matures,

They are imbued with Brahman — not those who argue about words.

133. Those who skillfully interpret Brahman, but have ruined their thought through passions, -

Their ignorance is the worst: they are born again and again.

134. Those who do not remain for a moment with their thought outside of Brahman -

They are similar in this sense to Brahma, Sanaka and Shuka.

135. The cause turns into the effect, the effect doesn’t turn into the cause.

Only explore causation by comprehending the non-existence of the effect.

136. Then the Reality, inaccessible to speech, will shine.

Looking at a clay jug, see this again and again.

137. Thus the thought of the Self of Brahman arises,

Then, in pure consciousness, a state of higher knowledge.

138. Let them try to see the cause separately -

And then they will see it as eternally inherent to the effect.

139. It is necessary to see the cause in the effect and then eliminate the effect.

When the cause is gone, wisdom will finally remain.

140. Thinking persistently about a thing, imagining it clearly,

It makes them become it soon. Example: bee and larva.

141. Invisible in the form of existence, all this is, in fact, the mind.

Let the wise man constantly think of it as Atman.

142. Having made the visible invisible, let him remember: Brahman is the cause.

Knowledgeable will be in eternal happiness with a thought full of meaning.

143. These listed steps are called Raja Yoga.

Those who have not yet matured combine it with hatha yoga.

144. But for those who have matured in mind, it alone is fruitful.

Guru’s and God’s devotees understand everything easily.

Non-correspondence Comprehension is finished

Shankara, Adi, Non-correspondence Comprehension, 8th century AD, cited by Zilberman, D.B., Revelation In Advaita Vedanta As An Experience Of Semantic Destruction Of Language, Questions of Philosophy, №5, 1972, pp. 117–129 (Translated from Russian: Д.Б.Зильберман, Откровение в адвайта-веданте как опыт семантической деструкции языка “Вопросы философии”, №5, 1972, с.117–129)