Dṛg-Dṛśya-Viveka: An inquiry into the nature of the seer and the seen

The Dŗg-Dŗśya-Viveka is an ancient text consisting of 46 ślokas concerning a systematic inquiry into the nature of the “seer” (Dŗg) and the “seen” (Dŗśya). The text is mainly attributed to Bĥaratī Tīrtha (ca. 1350 ce.) but also to the logician Jagadguru Śaṅkarācārya.

Show key excerpts of the text

“The form is perceived and the eye is its perceiver. It (eye) is perceived and the mind is its perceiver. The mind with its modifications is perceived and the Witness (the Self) is verily the perceiver. But It (the Witness) is not perceived (by any other).”

This śloka demonstrates that the mind is subject to perception. The quintessential question is: Who is perceiving the mind. According to Advaita Vedānta, the ultimate percipient is Ātman, the true-self.

The third śloka continues to analytically dissects the nature of perception described in the first śloka:

“The eye, on account of its interchangeable nature, is an object and its perceiver is the mind.”

The fifth śloka further inquiries into the unity of consciousness and emphasised the distinction between mind and consciousness (a semantic distinction which is currently lacking in the majority of psychological discourses):

“That the mind undergoes all these changes is known to all. Because of its changeable nature, the mind is an object of perception and Consciousness is the perceiver. This is because all the changes are perceived by Consciousness. Consciousness perceives all the states because it is a unity. These states, though distinct in nature, become unified in Consciousness or Self.”

Show the full text as a PDF
Display a video of the chanted version of the first śloka in Sanskrit

Sloka can be translated as “song”, etymologically derived from the root śru, “to hear” and refers to a verse line or poem developed from the Vedic Anuṣṭubh poetic meter. In this video the first śloka is chanted in Sanskrit by Swami Sarvapriyananda.

Tags: , , , ,