Bramhan is Eternal Witness! Scriptures eulogise the Bramhan by various terms all Depicting His divine glory. Few such terms are Vishhudhha ( all pure and completely free from all impurities ) , Niskalam ( free from parts or, one piece only) Niranjanam ( completely free from taint or impurities) .

A conjoint reading of these and other similar terms clearly imply that Bramhan doesn't possess any part or components like mind and sense organs. In other words He is free from mind and sense organs.

Given the background above let me venture to differentiate between being witness and perception. Perception seems to include observation + experience+ rememberance ( Jiva's act)whereas witness means simply and only Observance ( Bramhan's glory)It is through experience and rememberance that we form relative opinion of good and bad. And it is opinion formation that is the womb of all Dwandas ( pairs of opposite) .

In witnessing alone, no dwandas (pairs of opposites) result. So, Bramhan is free from Dwandas ( Nirdwando hi samam Bramho ---Geeta ) .

Shall be so helpful if some blessed one could help me understand the subject with his Elucidaton.

  • The words like Aatma, Brahman, Purusha, Kshetrgya are synonymous and have been used for centuries by different yogi sages for the witness/Self in Vedanta/Geeta as Hinduism is an open source religion where they keep on adding personal experiences of Brahman with different names. Nirguna Brahman could be better understood through Neti-Neti like in Nirvana Shatakam by Adi Shankaracharya youtube.com/watch?v=7FZFvFWztOA – user20656 May 8 at 17:49
  • A meaningful mention ! Sages based on their experiences have used terminology like Atman, Parmatman, Bramhan, Ishwar for the one Universal Self of the nature of Sat, Chit and Anand . Even seekers with limited knowledge at times get confused while comming across such various terminology. A generalised mention like that of yours may prove to be quite helpful in removing confusion related to various names. – Hare krishna May 9 at 5:41
  • Well these are mere terminologies, but in practical terms, just like a material clock operates with only a cell, similarly material body moves with the power of Brahman soul but the body rots after death or departure of soul, which was the gist of Geeta when Krishna instructed Arjuna to kill his own relatives as the witness in all is immortal. Now, an animal or Asura can never understand that its the atma, only a man with intellect and image of God Purusha can. Yogis and Kings like Krishna, Rama, Janak etc., lived in witness Gyana Yoga and performed their earthly duties which is Karma Yoga. – user20656 May 10 at 18:38
  • God is one for all, comparing Shiva vs Vishnu vs Jesus vs Allah etc., in religious fights or riots in today's religions is mere stupidity of Kaliyuga as people are Tamsik and violent and more interested in fighting each other than realizing their religion first thereby wasting rare human birth, than realizing real self and be free and will find peace only with body's death. – user20656 May 10 at 18:42

In Rig Veda I.164.20 , there was a mention about 2 birds perching on a branch of a tree.

दवा सुपर्णा सयुजा सखाया समानं वर्क्षं परि षस्वजाते | तयोरन्यः पिप्पलं सवाद्वत्त्यनश्नन्नन्यो अभि चाकशीति ||

Two Birds with fair wings, knit with bonds of friendship, in the same sheltering tree have found a refuge. One of the twain eats the sweet Fig-tree's fruitage; the other eating not regardeth only.

The first bird represents a Jiva, or individual self, or soul. She has a female nature, being a shakti, 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 Atma, an aspect of God who accompanies every living being in the heart while she remains in the material world. As mentioned in the mantra, the God witnesses every action of every being. He is the support of all beings and is beyond sensual pleasure.

Yes, I agree with the opinion of the OP, as per the mantra of Rig Veda, mentioned above.

It is through experience and rememberance that we form relative opinion of good and bad. And it is opinion formation that is the womb of all Dwandas ( pairs of opposite) .

In witnessing alone, no dwandas (pairs of opposites) result. So, Bramhan is free from Dwandas.

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The use of the word witness is not to imply what Brahman is. The use of the word witness is to imply what Brahman is not in relation to the world of maya - We can only say what Brahman is not, Brahman is without attributes; Brahman is not attached to this world. The use of the word witness is to convey the idea that we cannot know Brahman.

Brahman is described as Nirguna Brahman and Saguna Brahman (Iswara). The difference between these two terms/descriptions has been described in different questions and answers on this forum. Nirguna Brahman has no awareness of maya; Saguna Brahman does.

Brahma Sutras 2.3.46-47 (https://www.wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/brahma-sutras/d/doc74896.html) says:

  1. The Supreme Lord is not (affected by pleasure and pain) like this (individual soul), even as light etc. (are not affected by the shape of the things they touch).

If the soul is a part of the Lord, the question may arise that the Lord also experiences pleasure and pain like the soul, even as a cloth is soiled if its threads are soiled. This Sutra refutes it and says that the Lord does not experience pleasure and pain like the soul, which on account of ignorance identifies itself with the body and mind, and thereby partakes of their pleasure and pain. Just as the light of the sun, which is all-pervading, becomes straight or bent by coming in contact with particular objects, or as the ether enclosed in a jar seems to move when the jar is moved, or as the sun appears to tremble when the water in which it is reflected trembles, but in reality none of them undergoes those changes, so also is the Lord not affected by pleasure and pain, which are experienced by that imagined part of it, the individual soul, which is a product of ignorance and is limited by the Buddhi etc.

  1. The Smritis also state (that).

“Of the two, the Supreme Self is said to be eternal and devoid of qualities. It is not touched by the fruits of actions any more than a lotus leaf is by water. . . Smriti texts like this declare that the Supreme Lord does not experience pleasure and pain. The Srutis too do the same.

And in his Pancadasi, Chapter VI, Sri Vidyaranya Swami says (Swami Swahananda translator):

  1. As person with a special privilege, Isvara rules the universe. Without His rulership there would be no one to regulate bondage and release (Svetasvatara Up. 6.16-17)

  2. The Sruti declares that Nature functions in fear of Iswara. He is the ruler though unattached. The rulership is appropriately vested in Isvara, who is not affected by sufferings, works, and so forth.

Vide Taittireya Up. 2.8.1, Katha Up. 2.3.3, Nrsimhatapaniya Up. 2. Rulership is not improper as Isvara is distinct from Jiva.

In his Vivekacudamani, Sankara says (Swami Madhavananda translator):

  1. The Supreme Self, different from the Prakriti and its modifications, of the essence of Pure Knowledge, and Absolute, directly manifests this entire gross and subtle universes in the waking and other states, as the substratum of the persistent sense of egotism, and manifests Itself as the Witness of the buddhi, the determinative facility. (Witness of the buddhi - All actions that we seem to be doing are really done by the buddhi, while the Self ever stands aloof, the only Absolute Entity.)

Your second statement as to what perception is makes many assumptions as to what constitutes perception - and is not necessarily a generally agreed as you state. There is an extensive review of what perception is in Advaita here under the section Diacritical Arguments For The Unreality of the World in the Chapter on Post-Shankara Vedanta - https://archive.org/details/IndianPhilosophyACriticalSurvey/mode/2up

Swami Vivekananda states (Complete Works, Volume 7, Inspired Talks, Wednesday, July 17, here - https://advaitaashrama.org/cw/):

Differentiae becomes qualities when they are separate but joined in one object. We cannot say positively what differentiation is. All that we see and feel about things is pure and simple existence, "isness". All else is in us. Being is the only positive proof we have of anything….

Shankara says again, perception is the last proof of existence. It is self-effulgent and self-conscious, because to go beyond the senses we should still need perception. Perception is independent of the senses, of all instruments, unconditioned. There can be no perception without consciousness; perception has self-luminosity, which in a lesser degree is called consciousness. Not one act of perception can be unconscious; in fact, consciousness is the nature of perception. Existence and perception are one thing, not two things joined together. That which needs no cause is infinite; so, as perception is the last proof of itself, it is eternal. It is always subjective; perception itself is its own perceiver. Perception is not in the mind, but perception brings mind. It is absolute, the only knower, so perception is really the Atman. Perception itself perceives, but the Atman cannot be a knower, because a "knower" becomes such by the action of knowledge; but, Shankara says, "This Atman is not I", because the consciousness "I am" (Aham) is not in the Atman. We are but the reflections of that Atman; and Atman and Brahman are one.

What you are thinking of perception is the perception of the waking state, the individual ego. Perceiving objects, memory (remembrance), are all in the waking state. The Consciousness, the perception of Brahman is the Turiya (Mandukya Upanishad). There are no objects to perceive, no past, no future. Just 'Isness'.

Krishna says in the Gita 9.4-5 (Swami Nikhilananda translator):

  1. By Me, in My unmanifested form, are all things in this universe pervaded. All beings exist in Me, but I do not exist in them.

  2. And yet the beings do not dwell in Me--this is My divine mystery. My Spirit, which is the support of all beings and the source of all things, does not dwell in them.

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