Two birds : Jiva and Paramatman

Discussion in 'Spiritual Forum' started by Aum, Sep 22, 2015.

  1. Aum

    Aum New Member

    Two birds associated together, and mutual friends, take refuge in the same tree; one of them eats the sweet fig; the other abstaining from food, merely looks on. R.V- 1.164.20

    Where the smooth-gliding rays, cognizant, distil the perpetual portion of water; there has the lord and steadfast protector all beings accepted me, though immature in wisdom. R.V-1.164.21

    In the tree into which the smooth-gliding rays feeders on the sweet, enters, and again bring forth light over all, they have called the fruit sweet, but he partakes not of it who knows not the protector of the universe. R.V- 1.164.22

    The first bird represents a Jiva, or individual self, or soul. She has a female nature, being a sakti, an energy of God. When the jiva becomes distracted by the fruits (signifying sensual pleasure), she momentarily forgets her lord and lover and tries to enjoy the fruit independently of him. This separating forgetfulness is maha-maya, or enthrallment, spiritual death, and constitutes the fall of the jiva into the world of material birth, death, disease and old age.

    The second bird is the Paramatman, an aspect of God who accompanies every living being in the heart while she remains in the material world. He is the support of all beings and is beyond sensual pleasure.

    Another interpretation is the two birds are two options: one is to eat the sweet fruits; other is merely look on and recognize where the smooth-gliding rays distil the perpetual water (the leaves and the root); there the lord and protector accepts me in the tree, into which the smooth-gliding rays feeders on the sweet and brings light over the tree. First consciousness has to know the protector of the universe and then partakes of it.
  2. There are many verses that speak of the presence of the Lord, the Paramatma within the heart:

    Yet in this body there is another, a transcendental enjoyer, who is the Lord, the supreme proprietor, who exists as the overseer and permitter, and who is known as the Supersoul. -- Bhagavad-gita 13.23

    One who sees the Supersoul accompanying the individual soul in all bodies and who understands that neither the soul nor the Supersoul is ever destroyed, actually sees. -- Bhagavad-gita 13:28

    The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy. -- Bhagavad-gita 18:61

    I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge, and forgetfulness. -- Bhagavad-gita 15:15

    The Paramatma sees everything that is going on for us and is always ready for us to turn to Him and relate. We generally are too busy with our material activities to be aware of His presence, and although He is always giving us good instruction on how to return to our original blissful consciousness, we do not hear Him. However the process of yoga is designed to expand our vision, and eventually allow us to perceive the Paramatma within us and within all living beings.


    The situation has been described as there being two birds sitting in a tree together, and one bird is taken up with eating the fruits in the tree, trying to enjoy matter, and doesn’t notice his friend sitting nearby waiting for him to turn to him and enjoy a transcendental relationship.

    Bhagavad-gita 2:2 Purport

    “The Vedas, like the Mundaka Upanisad, as well as the Svetasvatara Upanisad, compare the soul and the Supersoul to two friendly birds sitting on the same tree. One of the birds (the individual atomic soul) is eating the fruit of the tree, and the other bird (Krishna) is simply watching His friend. Of these two birds--although they are the same in quality--one is captivated by the fruits of the material tree, while the other is simply witnessing the activities of His friend.”

    Katha and Svetasvatara Upanishads. Quoted B.g. 2:22 purport

    Although the two birds are in the same tree, the eating bird is fully engrossed with anxiety and moroseness as the enjoyer of the fruits of the tree. But if in some way or another he turns his face to his friend who is the Lord and knows His glories – at once the suffering bird becomes free from all anxieties.
  3. ajay00

    ajay00 Member

    Imo, the two birds signify the state of consciousness within the same person -- the ego and the Self ( Awareness).

    As per Sri Muruganar, ' The Self, our Being, is awareness.'

    Awareness or Self is what we are . But being attracted to the sense-objects of the world, desire in the form of cravings arise within us. Similarly fears too arise in us leading to aversions.

    As per Nisargadatta Maharaj, 'Desire is the memory of pleasure and fear is the memory of pain. '

    These desires and fears, or cravings and aversions, is what creates the ego or false self or false 'I' , distinct from the Self or true 'I'.

    While the Self or true 'I' is loving, blissful and peaceful and compassionate , the false self or ego is separative, selfish , and prone to anger, lust, attachments, greed, hatred, jealousy and passion for destruction, cruelty etc.

    The ego is also highly reactive , as pointed out in this thread of mine.

    The purpose of religion is to hack away the false self or ego , which obscures the Self or Awareness within us.

    This is done through practice of meditation, present moment awareness and total love. All these helps to destroy karma, and thereby the ego.

    Total dissolution of all karma results in enlightenment wherein the Self or Awareness is a constant state within us, and never obscured by the ego.

    King Janaka, Rama, Krishna all were in a state of constant awareness .

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