V Subrahmanian, Wednesday, June 10, 2015 10:04 am

The S?tasamhit? – Part 1

The S?tasamhit? is a part of the Skandapur??a and is highly regarded by Advaitins for its delineation of the Ved?nta in a very lucid manner.  In the sequel is a rendering of some select chapters from this book.  The text adhered to in this endeavor is the one available in the URL: http://sanskritdocuments.org/doc_giitaa/brahmagiitaaskanda.html?lang=sa.  The commentary available in the book published by the Sri B?lamanoram? Press, Mylapore (then) Madras, in the year 1954 CE is also consulted.

The Essence of the Ch?ndogya Upani?ad 6th Chapter

Part 1

This is the 5th chapter of the section called ‘Yajñavaibhava kha??a’ ‘uttara bh?ga’ wherein contains the ‘Brahmag?t?’ in the S?tasamhit?, in verse.  This part has in it a rendering of several Upani?ads.  The 6th chapter of the Ch?dogya Upani?ad is about the teaching of the ‘sadvaidy?’ by Sage Udd?laka to his son ?vetaketu.  This chapter is extremely famous for it contains the seminal Advaitic teaching of ‘Tat tvam asi’. The rendering is in the form of a dialogue initiated by Brahm?:

? ????????? ?
[The teaching of the Instruction]

?????????? ?

1. ???????????????????????????????? ?
??????? ?????????????? ????? ???????? ?? ? ??

??????? Brahm? ???? said-
???? extremely ??????? secretive ?????? instruction ?????????????????? that illumines several meanings ??????? shall give out  ????????? to you all ???? today ???  ????? hear ???????? ?? with attention

The Teacher Brahm? has embarked on the great endeavour of giving out the most powerful instruction.  It is stated to be very secretive in the sense that it is given out only to those who really yearn for it.  This is because this instruction is about the liberating knowledge.  Several aspects of this truth, that is, aspects leading to the unfoldment of the Supreme Truth are going to be expounded in the delineation of the instruction.  It is thus appropriate that those who are being addressed are to bear the highest concentration and faith, ?raddh?, so that the teaching is captured by them and allowed to work inside their mind.

2.    ???? ???????????? ??????????????? ????? ?
???? ? ??? ?????????????? ? ??????? ? ??

???? of that ???????????? by just hearing ??????? becomes heard ?? indeed ??????? that unheard ????? becomes ???? unthought of ? too ??? becomes thought ??????? known ????????? unknown ? as well ??????? O exalted ones.

The nature of the teaching is stated. When this teaching is heard, cogitated upon and finally realized, it dispels the ignorance about all that has not been heard, cogitated upon and realized.  In other words, the truth, the essence, of everything in creation becomes realized by applying oneself to this unique instruction.

3. ?????? ?? ??????? ?????????? ??? ????? ?
???????? ??????? ????? ????????????? ??? ? ??

???? by one ?? alone ?? however ??????? lump ??????????? of clay ??? just as ????? Oh gods ???????? is known ??????? ????? all that is of clay ????????????? as non-different from clay ??? always

The kind of realization, true knowledge, is stated: By knowing the truth of just one lump of clay all that is made of clay is known to be non-different from the clay which is the material cause.  The determining the truth of the lump of clay as non-different from its material cause that is clay, all that is made of clay, just as the lump of clay, is also deemed, determined, to be non-different from their material cause, clay.  This is the kind of knowledge that is being taught in this dialogue.

Two more analogies are given:

4.    ???? ???????? ????? ?????? ??? ?
???????? ???????????? ?????? ???????? ? ? ??

???? by one ???????? lump of gold ????? all ?????? that is golden ??? just as ???????? ?????? becomes known ??? just as ???? by one ?????? of nails ???????? cutter ? too

5.    ????? ??????????? ?????? ???????????? ????? ?
?????? ?? ??????????? ? ?????? ??????????? ? ??

????? all ??????????? iron-products ?????? are known ???????????? as non-different from iron ????? O gods ?????? the effect ?? indeed ??????????? is non-different from the cause ? not ?????? different ? not ?????????? different and non-different.

The Upani?ad gives two more examples to drive home the nature of knowledge that is being instructed. The first (after the clay-clay products example cited above) is the knowing that the lump of gold is non-different from the material gold, so too all products of gold are non-different from gold. The other, third, analogy is that of knowing the lump of iron is not any different from its cause, iron, so too the iron products having iron as their material cause are non-different from iron. (The Upani?ad uses the word ‘nail cutter’ just to indicate that it is a product of iron.) The logic the Upani?ad applies to teach this is: the effect is non-different from its cause.  To establish this first it is considered whether the effect is different from the cause. This is because if the effect is admitted to be non-different from the cause, then since the effect, the world, is experienced to be of a variegated nature, then the cause, Brahman, too, is to be admitted to be so.  This is not desirable. This view is rejected thus: This is not so since the examination of the lump of clay, gold and iron leads to the conclusion that it is non-different from its cause.  Then, is it possible that the effect is different and non-different from the cause simultaneously? This is also not possible since the two situations, difference and non-difference cannot coexist in one locus. Hence the conclusion is that the effect is non-different from its cause.

6.    ?????????? ?? ??????????????? ?????? ?? ?
???????????????? ?? ?????????????? ??? ? ??

?????????? If the effect is different ?? then ??? is it existent ?? or ???? non-existent ?????? effect ????? existent-non-existent ?? alone ?? or ??? existent ???? if ????????? is it of the cause ?? or ?????????? of the effect ?? ?? or ??? anything else?

Having stated that the effect is non-different from the cause and definitely not different or different-non-different, now the question as to the nature of its satt?, exitence, is taken up if the effect is deemed to be different from the cause.  This examination is undertaken in order to set aside the common belief that the effect is absolutely different from its cause.

A.    Is the effect existent?
B.    Is the effect non-existent?
C.    Is the effect both A and B?

If it is A, then –
A1. Is the existence, satt?, of the effect the same as the existence, satt?, of the cause?
B2. Is the existence, satt?, of the effect its own existence?
C.2. Or something else’s satt??

7.    ??? ?????????? ?????????? ? ????? ?
????? ??????????? ??? ????????? ????? ? ??

??? if ????????? cause-existence ?? alone ?????????? is effect-existence ? ? and not ???? different ????? then ????????? cause-existence ??? one alone ??? how ????????? different existent  ????? be?

If it is admitted that the effect-existence is really the cause-existent alone and not different, then since the exsitence is one only then there being no different satt?, existence, for the effect, it is non-different from the cause. The idea that the effect and the cause have mutually different existence, is refuted here, in these verses, by logic. If one agrees that the existence experienced in the effect is none other than the existence experienced in the cause, then there being no two existences, the effect has to be non-different from its cause.  This is the seminal teaching that one has to appreicate and remember.

8.  ?????????? ??????????? ?????????????????????? ?
??? ?????? ? ??????? ?????????????????? ? ??

??????? unity of existence ??? too ????? can be ?????? different ??????? from cause ??????????????? being called ‘effect’ ??? then ?????? such a word/speech ? too ?????? speech ?? mere ????????????? the word ‘effect’ ???? is devoid of truth ??? indeed

If it is objected, based on experinece, that even if same-satt? for both the cause and effect is admitted, since we do give a name to the effect that is different from the (name) of the cause, then the reply is: such a name given to the effect is simply nothing indeed, being a mere word with no real corresponding object that is any different from the cause.

9.  ??????????? ?????????????????? ?? ??????? ?
???????????????? ?? ???????? ??????????????????? ????? ? ??

??????????? devoid of existence ???????? effect ????????? non-existence ?? alone ?? indeed ??????? appropriate ???????? having attained ???????? non-existence ?? then ???????? the effect’s ?????????????? name ‘it is an effect of existnce’ ???? meaningless  ????? becomes.

It was pointed out in the foregoing that the existence, satt?, of the effect is none other than that of the cause. Now it is being said that it is but reasonable that the effect without existence is nothing but non-existence.  As a consequence, the use of the words to denote the existent-effect, ‘satk?rya’ is a waste. Such an effect, devoid of satt?, is no different from a human-horn, an absolutely non-existent entity, asat. By no means does something derive existence, satt?, from some other thing. In that case, even a human-horn can become existent. Therefore alone in this case (case B under verse 6 above), that is if the effect is non-existent, then the usage ‘the effect exists’ is meaningless.


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