V Subrahmanian, Saturday, April 16, 2016 1:50 pm

The S?tasamhit? – Part 11

Sutasamhit? Ch?ndogya Upani?at

Part 11

The discussion on the method of deriving the meaning of the mah?v?kya is continued here:

Verse 78:

???????????????????????? ????????????? ?

? ?????????????? ????? ??????????????????? ?? ? ???

?????????????????????? the direct meaning of the words ‘thou’ and ‘I’  ?? alone ????????????? of the body etc. ? does not ?????????????? the meaning of the word ‘That’ ????? says ??????? Veda ????????? ‘tat tvam asi’ ??? thus ?? she

The verse clarifies that the Upani?ad does not attempt to unite the j?va and the Supreme in identity as they stand.  In other words, the direct meaning of the term ‘tvam’ (‘thou’) is the individual endowed with body, mind, etc. and the direct meaning of the term ‘tat’ (‘That’) is the Supreme Brahman endowed with the attributes of omniscience, etc. Certainly such an identity is impossible as the characteristics of the j?va and ??vara are quite distinct from one another. Even though there is unity, identity, aikyam, oneness, non-difference, with respect to the Consciousness aspect of the j?va and ??vara, the up?dhis, limiting adjuncts, are quite poles apart. Hence, the Veda does not intend to equate the sams?ritva (bound nature) of the j?va with the Omniscience, etc. of ??vara.  This clarification is required in order to quell any doubt about the efficacy, workability, of the ved?ntic mah?v?kya.

Verse 79:

???????????????????? ????????? ???????? ??????? ?

???????????????? ?????????? ??????? ?? ? ???

???????????????????? that aspect which is contradictory to the identification with the meaning of ‘Tat’   ????????? having given up ???????? emanating from the direct meaning of the word ??????? the Veda ???????????????? the non-contradictory nature of Consciousness ?????????? indicating ??????? conveys ?? indeed

Why does not the ?ruti unite the ‘tvam’ with the ‘Tat’ on the basis of the direct meanings of the terms? It is because of the incompatibility that would arise if that is attempted. So the indicated meanings of the two terms are resorted to.  This is accomplished by giving up those aspects of the ‘tvam’ and ‘Tat’ that conflict with each other.  These are stated in the earlier verse: the bound nature of the j?va and the attributes of Omniscience, etc. of ??vara. Once these are ignored, negated as products of nescience, what remains un-negatable is the Consciousness aspect in both the j?va and ??vara.  Since there can never be any distinction in the Consciousness that is pure, homogenous, objectless, eternal, self-luminous, the identity is happily possible. In fact, there are no ‘two’ Consciousness-es but only One that merely appears as two owing to the superimposed limiting adjuncts.

Verse 80:

?????? ? ?????????????????????? ????? ?? ?

??????????????????? ?????????? ?? ?????? ? ???

?????? In the meaning of ‘Tat’ ? too ?????????????????????? the aspect of meaning contradictory to the identification  ???? ?? without alone ?? indeed ??????????????????? the one denoted by the causehood, etc. ?????????? is indicated ?? but ?????? exclusive

Verse 81:

???????? ????????? ???????????? ??????? ? ?

???????????????????????? ???????????? ???????? ? ???

???????? Pure Consciousness ???? again ???? of that ???????????? identity with the ‘tvam’ ??????? says ? too ???????????????????????? the indicated meaning of the words ‘tat’ and ‘tvam’ ???????????? that is Pure Consciousness ???????? the Param?tman

That meaning taught with respect of the words ‘tvam’ (‘thou’) and ‘aham’ (‘I’) earlier, is now being applied to the meaning of the word ‘Tat’ as well. The word ‘tvam’ is denoting the sams?ritva of the j?va.  The word ‘Tat’ denotes the causehood of the world, omniscience, etc.  Certainly the two denoted meanings conflict with each other. Such a conflicting identity (between ‘tvam’ and ‘Tat’) is certainly not proposed by the ?ruti.  Similarly the causehood, etc. that is the denoted meaning (v?cy?rtha) of the word ‘Tat’ is not compatible with the denoted meaning of ‘tvam.’ Hence this way too, no unity is proposed by the ?ruti. Here, the attributes (vi?e?a?a) such as causehood of the world and omniscience are excluded and the subtantive (vi?e?ya) that is the Pure Consciousness is what is indicated to accomplish the unity, aikyam, with the  meaning of ‘tvam’, which is also Pure Consciousness. 

What is meant  by this accomplishment of unity? The ultimate, one only, absolute Truth taught in the Ved?nta is the Pure, objectless, homogenous, Consciousness. This Consciousness alone appears, owing to the avidy?-created limiting adjuncts, up?dhi-s, as the j?va characterized by sams?ritva. Again, this Pure Consciousness alone, owing to the m?y?-created up?dhi-s such as k?ra?atvam (being the cause of the world) and sarvajñatvam (omniscience) appears as the ??vara.  The mah?v?kya ‘Tat tvam asi’ (and ‘Aham Brahma asmi’) proposes to teach the identity, unity, of the two: j?va and ??vara. Since the attributes of the two namely being bound and being the omniscient one are not compatible, the conflicting attributes are given up.  When this is done, what remains is the subtantive that is Pure Consciousness. This method of giving up what is conflicting and retaining what is common to both is called bh?ga-ty?ga lak?a?? or jahat-ajahat lak?a??.  The example that demonstrates this lak?a?? is the sentence ‘He is this Devadatta.’  Supposing I encounter a person called Devadatta in a Temple in my neighborhood.  I recognize him to be the same Devadatta whom I had seen a month ago in a different town.  Now how does this recognition ‘he is that Devadatta’ happen? Surely, the ‘that’, the cirumstances, the time and place pertaining to the past event and the cirumstances, the time and place pertaining to the present event are conflicting; they are not the same. That town, that time and that situation are all different from this place, this time and this situation. Yet we conclude that this Devadatta is the same one as that. We do that by giving up, ignoring, disregarding, the place, time, situation triad of both the past and present, which are actually attributes, vi?e?a?a-s and retain just the vyakti, the individual called Devadatta, who is the subtantive, vi?e?ya and say ‘This is that Devadatta alone.’  All this exercise happens in the mind within a fraction of a second.

The method of arriving at the correct meaning of the identity, akha???rthat? (the condition of the subtantive alone pervading in  the two situations, in the example, and presenting itself to the mind as a single entity), is essential to the understanding of the mah?v?ky?rtha.

Verse 82:

?????? ?????????????? ? ?? ????????? ???????? ?

????????? ?? ?????????? ????????????? ? ????? ? ???

??????  Oneness ??? that ??????????? is self-established ? that ?? indeed ?????????? is the meaning of the sentence ???????? O ?stika-s! ??? other than this ?????? different ?? that ?????????? meaning of the sentence ?? that ??????????? is not the true meaning of the sentence  ? no ????? doubt

As demonstrated in the foregoing, that Pure Consciousness, freed of all the up?dhi-s is the entity indicated by the two words ‘Tat’ and ‘tvam’.  This entity alone is the Param?tman taught by the vedic passages such as ‘vijñ?nam ?nandam brahma’ [‘Consciousness, Bliss is Brahman’] (B?had?ra?yaka Upani?ad 3.9.28).  Brahman is devoid of the three kinds of limitations: de?a, k?la and vastu (spacewise, timewise and objectwise). And therefore alone It is naturally One only without a second of any kind. This Unitary nature alone is taught by the mah?v?kya and not an a priori non-existing unity or identity between the tvam and Tat.  In other words, the objective of the mah?v?kya is not to bring about a hitherto non-existing unity of either of the tvam or Tat with either of them.

Objection: Why cannot there be a unity of the following kind possible by the teaching of the mah?v?kya? Just as copper, when comes into contact with the alchemical substance, turns into gold, the  sams?rin j?va who is really different from the Supreme, owing to the grace of ??vara become one with the latter.  Why not hold the mah?v?kya to be teaching this kind of transmutation?

Reply: Other than the method stated in the foregoing verse, that highlights the unity of the j?va and ??vara that are naturally One alone, no other kind of forging a unity is admissible.  What are the kinds of v?ky?rtha, meaning of a sentence, possible? This is explained by a verse in the ‘V?kyav?tti’ of Shankaracharya:

??????? ?? ???????? ?? ?????????? ????? ?????? |

?????????????? ?????????? ??????? ??? .      || 23 ||

What is meant by a sentence is not accepted either to be connected with (samsarga) or qualified by (vi?i??a) anything else. The meaning of the sentence, according to the wise, is an indivisible Being consisting of Bliss only.

In the sentence ‘the lotus is blue’, the words ‘louts’ and ‘blue’ are in the same predicaments. Hence the word ‘lotus’ is qualified by the word ‘blue.’ The sentence, therefore, means that it is a blue lotus – not white, yellow or of any other color.  Again, the word ‘blue’ is qualified by the word ‘lotus’ i.e. the blueness does not belong to a piece of cloth or anything else. In this way the words ‘lotus’ and’blue’ qualify each other.  That is what is called in the above verse ‘samsarga’ i.e. mutual connection or mutual qualification.

Again, the same sentence may be construed to mean a lotus having the qualification of blueness and not vice-versa. This is what has been described in the above verse as ‘vi?i??a’ or ‘qualified’. 

Even though the words ‘Thou’ and ‘That’ are in the same predicament in the sentence ‘Thou art That’ (‘Tat tvam asi’), neither of the two constructions mentioned above is applicable to it. We therefore accept the meanings indirectly expressed by the words ‘Thou’ and ‘That’ as absolutely identical, aikya, akh???rthat?. 

[The above explanation to the verse cited is found in the book ‘‘V?kyav?tti’’ translated by Swami Jagadananda, Ramakrishna Ma?ha, Chennai, year 1973.]

[Coming soon…Part 12]  


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