1).Drk Drashya Viveka

Drk Drashya Viveka is a beautiful prakarana Grantham  written by Shri Vidyaranya  based on Advaita Philosophy. Purpose of prakarana grantha is to explain some of the concepts of vedanta in a simple manner.   This book, explains “Tatwamasi – That Thou Art”  using seer-seen (drk – Drashya) analysis of individual – jiva.  We are aware of following aspects of perception.

  • Seer is consciousness (chetana), seen is object (jada).
  • Seer and seen are always separate for seeing to take place.
  • Seen cannot see the seer.
  • Seer cannot be the seen.

Using the above principles, individual consciousness is analysed by Sri Vidyaranya.

Three Seers – Absolute and relative. 

Verse 1

rūpaṃ dṛśyaṃ locanaṃ dṛk taddṛśyaṃ dṛktu mānasam । dṛśyā dhīvṛttayaḥ sākṣī dṛgeva na tu dṛśyate ॥ 1॥

rupam drsyam locanam drk

Forms of the external world including ones own body are seen. Eyes are the seer.  Here eyes represent other sense organs also like – ears, skin, nose and tongue.

draktu manasam

Eyes  themselves are seen and the mind is the seer.  Mind experiences the presence of eyes and hence mind is the seer of eyes.  Mind can understand the condition of eyes – open, closed, painful etc.


Modifications of mind called vrattis  or thoughts are experienced. Doubts, fears, faith, joy, …. etc are mental modifications.  Hence mind itself is seen. Who is the seer ?

sākṣī dṛgeva na tu dṛśyate

Sakshi is the seer of mental modification. Sakshi is not seen. Hence sakshi is the absolute seer while eyes and mind are the relative seers.

Sri Vidyaranya establishes 3 seers – eyes, mind and sakshi. Individual = seer1+seer2+seer3.

Of these, seer 1 – eyes, seer 2 mind are relative. Only seer 3 – sakshi is the absolute.

Q1). How the three seers are related ?

An analogy can be given to understand the relationship of three seers. Sun light falls on moon. Moon has no light of its own. Moon light reflects sunlight. In the process moon becomes visible. Reflected light from the moon lights up the earth.  There is only sunlight reflected  on moon and earth.

Similar to this situation,  Seer 3 Sakshi is absolute seer. Sakshi is not seen by any other seer. Sakshi is self luminous.  Light of sakshi reflects on the mind. Mind is matter and has no consciousness. When light of sakshi is reflected on the mind, mind is seen (drashya) for the sakshi. Reflected light from the mind lights up sense organs. In the process mind becomes the seer 2 and sense organs become seen for the mind.  Sense organs reflect light to see the objects of the world. Now sense organs become seer 1 and world is seen.

nīlapītasthūlasūkṣmahrasvadīrghādibhedataḥ। nānāvidhāni rūpāṇi paśyellocanamekadhā ॥ 2॥

Coming back to eyes as the seer, seer is one but seen are many. For example, same eye sees different colors and variety – red, pink, yellow, blue … etc. While there is variety in the seen, seer is non dual.

There is variety in the seen. Seer is not affected by the seen. Seer is one.



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