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Advaita Vedanta A Birds Eye View

Philosophy of Advaita Vedanta

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Table o !ontents
Section 1 - Preparatory Spiritual Practices.......................................................3
Section 2 - Enquiry nto !ne"s #eal $ature......................................................%
Introduction.................................................................................................. 6
Subsection1 : Drgdsyaviveka........................................................................6
Subsection2 : Pancakosavivieka...................................................................9
Subsection3 : Avasthatrayavivieka.............................................................10
Section 3 - !rders of #eality...........................................................................1&
Section & - 'escription of (rahman) *he A+solute #eality.............................1&
Section % - ,nreality of the Perceived -orld...................................................23
Section . - Pramanam.................................................................................... 2.
Section / - (rahman as E0istence..................................................................21
Section 1 - 2reator is s-ara *o3ether -ith 4aya...........................................32
Section 5 - Status of 4aya.............................................................................. &6
Section 16 - (rahman as 2onsciousness........................................................&2
Section 11 - #e7ected 2onsciousness 82ida+hasa9........................................&%
Section 12 - Si3ni:cance of 2ida+hasa..........................................................%2
Section 13 - (rahman as (liss........................................................................%&
Section 1& - (ene:t of denti:cation -ith (rahman.......................................%1
Section 1% - (ene:t of ;no-in3 *hat Am All 8Sarvatma+hava9.....................2
Section 1. - ;arma is not the 4eans of <i+eration..........................................3
Section 1/ - <i+eration in *his <ife tself - =ivanmu>ti.......................................
Section 11 - Videhamu>ti............................................................................... ./
Section 15 - ;ramamu>ti.................................................................................5
Section 26 - Purpose of *eachin3 a+out ?ods -ith Attri+utes.........................5
Section 21 - Process of !+tainin3 ;no-led3e of dentity -ith (rahman......../%
Section 1 - Preparatory Spiritual Practices
1. The Karma kanda practices (saadhanas are a prelude to the pursuit of !nana
kanda. The human tendency to seek happiness in material ac"uisitions and
achievements and the dawnin# of the wisdom that one must find happiness
within oneself by reco#ni$in# one%s true nature as the infinite &rahman are
brou#ht out in Brhadaranyaka Upanishad, Mundaka Upanishad and
Katopanishad. Brahadaranyaka Upanishad '(.iv.)) * + The &raahmana,
seekin# to know 't (&rahman ( purify their minds throu#h the chantin# of
(edas, (and, later, performance of sacrifices and duties (of the chosen
avocation, and charity, (leadin# an austere and dispassionate life and thereby
developin# a desire to know &rahman, become sa#es and (thereafter, renouncin#
worldly life alto#ether, become monks (sanyasis ( to en#a#e in en"uiry into the
,elf * atma vicaara.- .undaka /panishad '.ii.1) * + 0avin# understood by
experience and inference the troubles and impermanence of worldly life and
impermanence of the effects of all karma and thus developin# dispassion towards
the worldly life, desirin# to know the eternal 1eality, to pursue en"uiry into atma
(&rahman, a &rahmana should take to renunciation (sanyaasa and #o with
sacrificial fa##ot in hand ( symbolic of respect , faith and devotion to a
traditional teacher who is well versed in the (edas and is abidin# in &rahman
(+stotriya brahmanishtha- . (+The word, -&rahmana- in these /panishads
refers, not to &rahamna by birth but to the seeker en#a#ed in the practice of
karma yo#a, as a preparatory step to the pursuit of !nana yo#a and to the seeker
en#a#ed in !nana yo#a. 2abala /panishad '(.1 (2anaka is the student,
Ya!navalkya is the teacher * + 3fter completin# the period of disciplined
studentship (brahmacarya one may become a householder (#rahastha. 3fter
bein# a householder one may become a forest4dweller (vanaprastha. 0avin#
become a vanaprastha one may renounce the world (and thus become a sanyasi.
5r, alternatively, one may embrace sanyasa from brahmacarya itself or from the
sta#e of a householder6.(it can also be that a person may renounce worldly life
that very day on which distaste for it dawns on him6..- Kathopanishad .antra
''.i.1 7 ) 4 +The self4evident 8ord has endowed the mind and the sense or#ans
with outward4#oin# capacity. Therefore people tend to perceive only external
ob!ects and not the atma within. &ut a rare wise man, seekin# liberation from
births and deaths and turnin# the vision inwards sees (i.e. after study, reco#nises
the pratya#atma (the &rahma caitanyam available in the individual.- +The
foolish ones wallow in external ob!ects and are cau#ht in the bonda#e of mortality
(i.e., the cycle or birth and death and sufferin# and sorrow. 9hereas the wise
ones, with discrimination, havin# learnt that the #oal is immortality (i.e.
liberation from the cycle of births and deaths #ive up the desire for the
impermanent ob!ects of the perceived world.-
). This does not mean that one should #ive up one%s occupation or cease to earn. 5n
the other hand, except in respect of persons who have renounced the worldly life,
family and possessions and have formally adopted a life style devoted exclusively
to 2nana Yo#a, called, vividisha sannyaasa, ,astra en!oins on all such persons
the duty of fulfillin# the obli#ations pertainin# to one%s station in life *
obli#ations not only to one%s own family, but to society, ancestors, teachers,
mankind as a whole, and environment (plant and animal kin#dom and the
insentient ob!ects of the world so as to contribute to ecolo#ical and cosmic
harmony (panca-mahaa-yagna as well as the obli#ation to oneself to obtain
facilities for one%s own spiritual pro#ress. :or a spiritually inclined person, even
while continuin# to live a worldly life, there should be no omission of duties and
obli#ations covered by panca maha ya!na or deviation from ri#hteousness or
deviation from satyam (truthfulness, ahimsa (non4violence (exceptions will be
for the defense of the nation, et. 'f there is surplus wealth, it should be devoted
to the welfare of the needy. This is #enerally referred to a life of adherence to
dharma. Kathopanishad '.ii.); emphasi$es that, unless one desists from bad
conduct and keeps his senses under control and mind concentrated and free from
anxiety, he cannot attain &rahman by #ainin# knowled#e of identification with
&rahman ( na aviratah duscaritaat na asaantah na asamaahitah na
asaantamanasah va api prajnaanena enam aapnuyaat.
<. The "ualification to be ac"uired for studyin# 2nana kanda is called +sadhana
catushtayam- * which consists of (a discrimination between the eternal and the
ephemeral (atma anaatma viveka, (b absence of desire for the en!oyment of
the (fruits of one%s actions in this world, as also in the other world= in other
words, non4attachment to en!oyment of ob!ects both here and hereafter
(vairagya (c six *fold discipline ( shadka sampatti consistin# of (i control of
or mastery over the mind (sama, control of the external sense or#ans (dama,
(iii strict adherence to one%s duties and obli#ations, called dharma (uparati,
endurance of heat and cold, pleasure and pain, tolerance of all discomfort
(titiksha, (iv faith in sastra and guru (teacher (sraddha, and of mind * citta-
aikaagrataa and calmness of mind (citta naischalyam( called samadhanam and
(d intense yearnin# for liberation for liberation (mumukshutvam . The means
for ac"uirin# this sampatti consists of karma yo#a and upasana. Thou#h the
chances of benefitin# from the pursuit of !nana kanda are #reater, if one takes to
that pursuit after ac"uirin# sadhana catushtaya sampatti, one who has not yet
ac"uired it is not precluded from pursuit of !nana kanda for lack of it. 5ne can
practice the elements of sadahana catushtaya samaptti and the pursuit of !nana
kanda simultaneously.
The components of sadhana catushtaya samaptti are mentioned in
&rahadaranyaka (kanva sakha '(.iv.)< as the features of a !nani, which are the
same as "ualifications of an aspirant and what is not mentioned there, vi$.,
sraddha, is mentioned in the madhyantina sakha.
Section 2 - Enquiry Into Ones Real Nature
The core of the teachin# in 3dvaita (edanta is the identity of 2ivatma and
>aramatma. :or knowled#e of >aramatma, we have to rely entirely on
,astra. &ut the real nature of 2ivatma, that is, our own real nature, can be
known by inward en"uiry. 't is called tvampada-vicaara. There are
variations of tvampada4vicara. These are drgdrsyaviveka,
pancakosaviveka, avasthaatrayavivieka and analysis of sta#es of life.
2ivatma is a mixture of pratya#atma, the sukshma sarira and sthoola sarira.
9hen the unenli#htened man refers to himself as +'-, he is referrin# to the
sthoola4sukshma4sarira complex (what we #enerally refer to as the body4
mind4complex. 0e is not aware of the pratya#atma, which is the same as
&rahman, the pure, infinite consciousness. The identification with &rahman
which ,astra shows as the only means of liberation from samsara is not
possible unless we reco#ni$e pratya#atma as our real nature, and learnin#
from ,astra that pratya#atma is not different from &rahma caitanyam,
identify ourself with &rahman.. 9e have no preconceived notion about
&rahman= so, we readily accept what sastra says about &rahman. &ut about
ourselves, in successive !anmas, we have been re#ardin# ourselves as the
limited personalities based on the body mind complex and so, when ,astra
tells us that we are the pure consciousness identical with the infinite
&rahman, we do not readily accept it. That is why en"uiry into one%s own
real nature (tvam-pad-vicaara is more important than en"uiry into the
nature of &rahman (tat--pada-vicaara.
Subsection1 : Drgdsyaie!a
(The term, +dr#drsyaviveka- refers to the #eneral thesis that whatever is
known is anaatma (not4atma and that the ultimate seer is atma. 0ere we
are applyin# it to atma as the witness of the mind itself. 9e do not find
many passa#es in the /panishads on this sub!ect. Two prakarana #ranthas
have been cited in this section.
&rhadaranyaka '''.;.) talks of atma as the ,eer of the ,eer, 0earer of the
hearer, Thinker of the thinker, Knower of the knower. Kenopanishad talks of
&rahman bein# known with each co#nition, i.e., as ,ankaracarya explains, as
the witness of co#nitions. >art ' of ,ankaracarya%s 3tma!nanopadesavidhih
is a step by step presentation of dr#drsyaviveka as applied to atma as the
witness of the mind. (erse ) * +That the seen is different from the seer, the
atma, is well known to all. Now, the "uestion is asked, ?what the atma is@%-.
(erses < to A establish that the body is not atma, since the body is perceived
as ?this% (i.e., as an ob!ect and also because when consciousness leaves the
body, the body becomes inert like wood et, when fire leave them. (erses B,C
and D exclude the sense or#ans because they are merely instruments of
perception. (erses 1E and 11 say that the mind and the intellect are not atma
because they are ob!ects of Fonsciousness and are also instruments of
perception. (erses )) to ); say that the e#o (ahamatha) is not the atma,
either, because it is also an ob!ect of perception, like !ars and other thin#s, is
absent in sushupti and is endowed with various "ualities like pain, pleasure
and so on and possesses mundane "ualities (such as aversion, desire etc..
>art '' verse 1 * +9hat, then is the atma@ 't is distinct from all the thin#s
mentioned before and is the innermost, all4pervadin# like space, subtle,
eternal, without any parts, without attributes, unblemished, havin# no
activities like #oin# and comin#, devoid of the ideas of ?me% and ?mine% and
also devoid of desire, aversion and effort, self4efful#ent by nature, like the
heat of the fire or like the li#ht of the sun, havin# no connection with the
elements such as space etc, possessin# no or#ans like the intellect etc., free
from the #unas of satva etc., not havin# the prana and other vital airs,
untouched by hun#er, thirst, #rief ,delusion, old a#e and death= it is the atma
which resides in the hearts of all bein#s and is the seer of all the intellects. 'n
verses < to B, the ob!ection is raised,- ,ince the a#ency of the action of seein#
is what is called ?seein#%, how can the atma which is devoid of the idea of ?me%
and ?mine% and of desire, aversion and effort, be called a ?seer. :urther, ,
unlike the intellect which under#oes modifications and knows a limited
number of ob!ects, one after another, the atma is devoid of chan#e and does
not depend on instruments etc= how can such an atma be a ?seer% in the sense
of knowin# a limited number of ob!ects, one after another.-. The answer is
#iven in verses1E and 1). +66There is a relation of superimposition between
the atma and the intellect, which, thou#h of a non4efful#ent nature, like a
crystal, appears to be efful#ent owin# only to the proximity of an efful#ence,
namely, the atma which is purely of an efful#ent nature.- +3nd it is only in
relation to other thin#s that the atma is called a knower. The sun may be
taken as an example. Thou#h entirely devoid of the ideas of ?me% and ?mine%
and also of desire and effort, atma is called an illuminator in relation to
thin#s illumined owin# only to its proximity to them, bein# !ust li#ht devoid
of all chan#e (prakaasatvam prakaasa-swaroopa-sannidhi-matrena
prakaasena avikriyamaanena. 't is an illuminator in no other way. 't is the
i#norant that superimpose the a#ency of the action of illuminin# thin#s on
the sun when thin#s are illumined by the sun. ,imilarly, the a#ency of the
"uality of a seer (action of knowin# ob!ects * drsyatvam is superimposed,
in relation to the manifestation of thin#s like the intellect and other thin#s,
on the atma which is of the nature of pure Fonsciousness (aatnamah drk-
roopasya devoid of all chan#e as well as free from attributes (sarva-
vikriyaa-viseshana-rahitasya) and is the witness of all intellects and their
modifications (sarva-pratyaya-saakshinah. 3tma does nothin# but stand
in the proximity to the ob!ects of knowled#e, as Fonsciousness, not different
from 'tself (drsya-sannidhi-matrena caitanya-swaroopena ayatiriktena).
't cannot be a seer (knower in no other way (anyathaa-drshtatva-
aabhaavaatii). 'n verse 1;, there is a comparison of the loadstone movin#
iron only by its proximity. The idea is #iven in a nutshell in Gr#drsyaviveka
verse 1* +Folors (roopam are perceived by the eye and the eye is their
perceiver. 't (the eye is perceived and the mid is its perceiver. The mind
with its modifications is perceived and the 9itness sakshi, i.e., the atma is
verily the perceiver. &ut it (the sakshi is not perceived by any other.
(roopam drsyam locanam drk tat-drsyam drktu maanasam! drsyaa dhii-
vrittaya-saaakshii drgeva na drsyate. Getails follow. (erse ) * +The forms
appear on account of various distinctions such as blue, yellow, #ross, subtle,
short, lon# etc. The eye, on the other hand, sees them, itself remainin# one
and the same.- (erse < * ?Fharacteristics of the eye such as blindness,
sharpness or dullness, the mind co#ni$es= the mind also co#ni$es
characteristics of the ear, skin etc.- (erse ; * + Fonsciousness (citih)
illumines desire, determination and doubt, belief and non4belief, constancy
and its opposite, understandin#, fear and others, because Fonsciousness is a
unity (ekadaa. (erse A * + Buddhi appears to possess luminosity on
account of the reflection of Fonsciousness in it. &uddhi is of two kinds *
e#oity (ahamkrti and the internal or#an (antahkarana.
(erse 1) * +Hive up the misconception of the identification with the body etc
and know yourself to be Ixistence4Fonsciousness4&liss, the witness of the
intellect (dhii-saaksi. 0ow the apramata atma can be said to be a ?witness%
has been explained in the main text (,ection1..
Subsection2 : Panca!osaiie!a
This is discussed in Taittiriya /panishad &rahmanandavalli. . 't talks of
+annamaya kosa- correspondin# to the sthoola sarira, +praanamaya kosa-
correspondin# to that part of the sukshma sarira which consists of the five
vital airs * prana, apana, vyana, udana, and samana and the five or#ans of
action (karmendriyas, +manomaya kosa" correspondin# to that part of the
sukshma sarira which consists of the mind, i.e.,. the co#ni$in# faculty, which
is also the #enerator of emotions and shares the five or#ans of perception
(!ananendriyas,. +vijanamaya kosa- correspondin# to that part of the
sukshma sarira which consists of the intellect,, i.e., the decidin# faculty,
which shares the !naanendriyas and which includes the e#o (the ahamartha
and +anandamaya kosa- correspondin# to the karana sarira of the seep
sleep state in which a person experiences i#norance and bliss. The kosas are
introduced one after the other as atma. :irst, the /panishad describes the
annamaya kosa and says it is atma. Then, sayin# that there is somethin#
interior and subtler than that, namely pranamaya kosa, ne#ates the
annamaya kosa (that is, dismisses it, sayin# that it is not atma * it is
anatma and so on, until it ne#ates even anandamaya, describin# its parts as
+priya-, moda- and +promoda- which are #rades of experiential happiness
and, finally, reveals the ultimate conscious principle and avers that that is
atma, &rahman.
Subsection" : #ast$atrayaiie!a
1. 3nother way of analysis is to examine the three states of wakin#, dream and deep
sleep called, respectively, +jaagrat avastha-, +swapna avastha- and +sushupti
avastha". This is discussed in .andukya /panishad which has to be studied with
.andukya Karika which is supposed to be a commentary on the /panishads but
is, in itself, an elaborate prakarana #rantha. :rom the /panishad, itself, we can
derive the existence of a chan#eless consciousness, apart from the chan#in#
mind. 'n .antra ), the /panishad declares the identity of atma and &rahman in
the followin# terms. J4 +3yam atma &rahma-. Thereafter it describes the
experiencer of the wakin# state (!a#rat avastha, called #aisvaanara, the
experiencer of the dream state (swapna avastha, called taijasa and the
experiencer of the deep sleep state (sushupti avastha), called praajna. 'n the
crucial mantra B, it defines atma as that which is neither conscious of the internal
perceived world nor conscious of the external perceived world, which is not even
a mass of consciousness or simple consciousness. ($a antah prajnam, na bahih
prajnam, na prajnaanaghana, na prajnam. Thus it rules out atma bein# the
ahamkara operatin# in the !a#rat avastha and the swapna avastha and lyin#
dormant in the sushupti avastha. &y sayin# that it is not simple consciousness, it
rules out a consciousness which is aware of everythin# simultaneously. That is to
say atma is not a knower4consciousness in any sense.. 3nd it hastens to add that
atma is not unconsciousness (na aprajnam. Thereafter it describes atma as
bein# beyond empirical dealin#s (avyavahaaryam). This word clearly
distin#uishes atma from any consciousness which functions as the knower
(pramaata or doer (karta or en!oyer (bhokta= thus this word serves to
differentiate the chan#in# ahamkara from the chan#eless atma. The other words
occurrin# in the mantra also differentiate the chan#eless pure, superior
consciousness that is atma from the chan#in# ahamkara which is involved in
perceived worldly transactions as the pramaata, karta and bhokta. These are
adrshtam (unperceived6., prancopasmamam (in which all phenomena cease,
saantam (unchan#in#, sivam (auspicious and advaitam (free from ideas of
difference or undifferentiated. That the chan#eless consciousness continues as
the constant conscious entity behind the chan#in# knower *consciousness in the
states of wakin# etc. is indicted by the words +eka-atma-pratyaya-saaram".
). 'n !a#rat avastha, my body, my sense or#ans and my ahamkara are all fully active
and ' am perceivin# external ob!ects and transactin# with an external world
(persons and thin#s outside me. 'n swapna avastha, my body and my sense
or#ans are dormant and my ahamkara pro!ects a dream world. Gurin# sushupti,
both the body and ahamkara are dormant. The ahamkara operatin# in the !a#rat
avastha, called visva, is not there when the ahamkara operatin# in the swapna
avastha, called taijasa, has come= neither the visva nor the taijasa is there when
the ahamkara is dormant, as praajna, in the sushupti avastha.. Neither the
tai!asa nor the praa!na is there when the visva has come a#ain. &ut still, ' re#ard
myself as the same conscious bein#. 'n doin# so, ' am invokin# a constant
conscious entity that was there when the visva was transactin# with the perceived
world, that was there when the tai!asa was dreamin#, that was there when the
pra!na was sleepin# and that is there when the visva has come a#ain. This
constant consciousness is the atma, the real '.
<. 'n this connection we can refer to the followin# passa#e in +/padesa ,ahasri- of
,ankaracaryaJ 4 The disciple is askin# +&ut at no time Your 0oliness, have ' ever
seen pure consciousness or anythin# else-. The teacher answers, +Then you are
seein# in the state of deep sleep= for you deny only the seen ob!ect, not the seein#.
' said that your seein# is pure consciousness. That (eternally existin# one by
which you deny (the existence of the seen ob!ect when you say that nothin# has
been seen, (that precisely is the seein#, that is pure consciousness. Thus as ('t
does not depart (from you ('ts transcendental chan#elessness and eternity are
established solely by 'tself without dependin# upon any means of knowled#e.-
The pupil said, +6.3nd there is no apprehender different from this apprehender
to apprehend it.-
;. That consciousness continues even durin# sushupti when all instruments of
knowled#e includin# the ahamkara are dormant is expressed poetically in
&rhadaranyaka /panishad '(.iii.)< to <E * + That 't does not see, smell, taste,
speak, hear, think. touch, or know is because althou#h seein#, smellin#, tastin#,
speakin#, hearin#, thinkin#, touchin# and knowin# then, it des not see, smell,
taste, speak, hear, think, touch, know= for the vision of the witness can never be
lost, because it is imperishable.- ,ankaracarya%s commentary * +The vision of the
witness is possible like the sun, etc, revealin# thin#s. 2ust as the sun and the like
are naturally ever4luminous and reveal thin#s throu#h their constant li#ht= .so is
the atma called a witness on account of its imperishable eternal vision. 2ust as the
sun and the luminaries reveal thin#s throu#h their constant, natural li#ht, and
not throu#h one produced for the time bein# ( so is the atma a witness throu#h its
eternal, natural consciousness and that is its function as a witness in the primary
sense, for there cannot be any other witness besides itJ
ObjectionJ This is contradicted by our experience that we sometimes see and
sometimes do not see.
ReplyJ This is simply due to the particular activities of our or#ans66.Therefore
the vision of the atma is imperishable, and throu#h that imperishable, self4
luminous vision the atma continues to see in the state of deep sleep. 0ow is it,
then, (it is said that it does not see 66Those thin#s that caused the particular
visions ( of the wakin# and dream states vi$. the mind, the eyes and forms were
all presented by avidya as somethin# different from the atma. They are n unified
in the state of deep sleep, as the !ivatma has been embraced by >aramatma. 5nly
when the atma is under limitations, do the or#ans stand as somethin# different to
help it t particular experiences. &ut it is now embraced by its own paramatma,
which is pure consciousness and the atma of all6.0ence the or#ans and ob!ects
do not stand as different entities= and since they are absent, there is no particular
experience, for this is the product of the or#ans etc., not of the atma, and only
appears as the product of the atma. Therefore it is an erroneous notion produced
by this (absence of particular experience that the vision f the atma is lost.
K. 'n short, the reference is to the continued presence of the atma caitanyam
consciousness as the witness of the non4functionin# mind, even when ahamkara
is dormant and there is no experience of an external world of ob!ects or an
internal dream world. 't is only when the sense or#ans and ahamkara are
functionin# that one perceives an external world of ob!ects and it is only when the
ahamkara is active, even thou#h the sense or#ans are dormant, that one sees a
dream. The atma caitanyam is eternal * there is no interruption in 'ts presence
behind the ahamkara, whether the ahamkara is active or dormant.
Section " - Orders o% Reality
1. 3dvaita (edanta does not deny the experiential or empirical reality
(?vyavaharika satyatvam% of the perceived world. The seemin# contradictions in
/panishad statements can only be reconciled on the basis of the 3dvaita (edanta
doctrine of different orders of reality. The concept of different orders of reality is
available in Fhando#ya /panishad 4 vide ''.vi.1* +That (&rahman created all
that exists. That (&rahman, havin# created that entered into that very thin#.
3nd, havin# entered there, 't became the true and the untrue, Truth became all
this. (+satyam ca anrutam ca! satyam abhavat-. ,ankaracarya explains, +'t
follows from the context that satyam is truth fallin# within the ran#e of the
empirical, and not absolute truth. :or the absolute truth is only one, which is
&rahman. &ut here the relative truth, as found in the empirical (perceived world
is referred to= as for instance, water is said to be true in comparison with the
water in a mira#e which is false. /ntruth is the opposite of that. 3#ain, what is
that became all this@ That which is the absolute truth. 9hat is that, a#ain@ 't is
&rahman= for it is &rahman that has been introduced as the topic of discussion by
the sentence ?&rahman is truth, knowled#e, infinitude.% Thus, the word, +true- +t-
in small case has been interpreted as vyaavahaarika satyam, the word +untrue- as
pratibhasika satyam and the word +True- with capital +T- as paaramaartika
satyam. This is the authority (+pramaana- for three orders of reality, in the
descendin# order 4 absolute reality (paramartika satyam), empirical reality
(vyavaharika satyam) and sub!ective reality (pratibhasika satyam.
Section & - Description o% 'ra$(an) *$e #bsolute
1. The Taittiriya mantra ).1.1 * +satyam !nanam anantam brahma- reveals the
nature of &rahman in a nutshell. The followin# is a paraphrase of extracts from
,ankaracarya%s commentaryJ4
(a,ankaracarya first clarifies that the sentence, +satyam, !nanam, anantam
brahma- is a definition of &rahman (brahmanah lakshanaartah vakyam). The
three words, satyam, !nanam, anantam are not ad!ectives (not visheshaani). 3
noun can be distin#uished only when there is the possibility of its rulin# out some
other ad!ective that does not belon# to it, as for instance a blue or red lotus. 3n
ad!ective is meanin#ful when there are many nouns which belon# to the same
class and which are capable of havin# many ad!ectives= but it can have no
meanin# with re#ard to a sin#le noun, where there is no possibility of any
alternative ad!ective. There is a sin#le &rahman, !ust as there is a sin#le sun=
there do not exist other &rahmans from which 't can be distin#uished, unlike a
blue lotus that can be (marked out from a red one Gefinition marks out an entity
from everythin# else (sarvata eva nivartakaani).
(bTakin# the words of the definition, ,ankaracarya says, that that which does
not chan#e the nature that is ascertained to be its own is satyam66,o, the word,
?satyam% distin#uishes &rahman from mutable thin#s. 6To indicate that 't is not
insentient like earth, the word ?!nanam% is !uxtaposed. The word, ?!nanam% means
consciousness. 2uxtaposed with the words, ?satyam% and ?anantam%, it ne#ates the
idea of the a#ent of knowin#. 'f &rahman be the a#ent of knowin#, satyam and
anantam cannot be part of the definition. 'f 't is the a#ent of knowin#, 't becomes
chan#eful and so cannot be satyam. That indeed is infinite which is not limited by
anythin#. (cf. another (edic text, %The 'nfinite is that where one does not know
anythin# else%. 'f it is the a#ent of knowin#, it becomes delimited by the knowable
and the knowled#e, and hence there cannot be infinitude (anantam. 6&esides, if
't has such distinctive attributes as becomin# the a#ent of knowin#, 't cannot
lo#ically be pure existence. 'n the A
Fhapter of Fhando#ya /panishads startin#
with ?5, #ood lookin# one, in the be#innin# this was existence alone% A.C.B says,
?That which is this subtle essence, all this has #ot That as the atma. That is
satyam6% Thus the words, ?satyam% and ?sat% are e"uated, Therefore the word,
?!nanam% (knowled#e havin# been used6 alon# with ?satyam% and ?anantam%, is
derived in the co#nate sense of the verb, and it is used to form the phrase ?!nanam
brahma% (&rahman is knowled#e to rule out any relationship between noun and
verb as that of an a#ent etc. as also for denyin# non4consciousness like that of
earth, etc. :rom the phrase, ?!nanam brahma% there is possibility of thinkin# that
&rahman is limited, because human knowled#e is limited. To obviate this, the
text says, ?anantam% (?infinite%.
(c Ixplainin# the word, +infinitude- ,ankaracarya says that it has been said at
the be#innin# of the mantra that &rahman is satyam, !nanam and anantam. 66
3s to that, there are three kinds of infinitude (aanantyam * space4wise, time4
wise and entity4wise. To illustrate, the sky is unlimited from the point of view of
space, for it is not limited in space. &ut the sky is not infinite as re#ards time or
entity. 9hy-@ &ecause it is a product. &rahman is thus not limited in time like the
sky, since 't is not a product. 3 created thin# is circumscribed by time, but
&rahman is not created. Therefore 't is infinite from the point of view of time as
well. ,imilarly, 't is infinite from the point of view of entity, because 't is non4
different from everythin# else. 3 thin# that is different acts as a limitation to
another. :or example, the idea of horsehood excludes the idea of cowhood and
the idea of cowhood becomes delimited. ,uch limitation is seen in the case of
distinct ob!ects. &rahman is not differentiated in this way. Therefore it has
infinitude from the point of view of substances. 0ow is &rahman non4different
from everythin#@ &ecause it is the cause of everythin#. 9ouldn%t &rahman be
limited by 'ts own effects@ No, since the ob!ects that are effects are
unreal.L6.Ixistence ( i.e., &rahman as sub4stratum of everythin# alone is true .
(Fhando#ya A.1.; and A.).16.. &rahman then is spatially infinite, bein# the cause
of space etc. 6'ndeed, no all pervadin# thin# is seen in this world to ori#inate
from anythin# that is not so. Therefore, the spatial infinitude of &rahman is
absolute. Temporally, &rahman%s infinitue is abslute since &rahman is not a
product. 3nd because there is nothin# different from &rahman, &rahman is
infinite in terms entity as well. Thus the reality of &rahman is absolute.
'n his commentary on the Fhando#ya mantra A.).1, +sat eva soumya idam agra
aaseet ekam eva advidiiyam%- ,ankaracarya explains, +The word ?sat% means
mere Ixistence, a thin# that is subtle, without distinction, all pervasive, one,
taintless, partless, consciousness, which is known from all the /panishads. The
word ?eva% is used for emphasis. (&adeva * sat iti astitvamaatram vastu
nirvisesham sarvvagatam, ekam, niranjanam, niravayavam, vijnaaanam yat
aagamyate sarvavedantebhyah. 'kasabdah avataaranaarthah. &efore
creation, it was not possible to #rasp it as possessed of name and form. 6.&y the
words, ?5ne only%, is meant that there was nothin# else comin# under the
cate#ory of its product. %9ithout a second% means that 't (Ixistence has no
second thin# different from 'tself-.
1eaders may notice a discrepancy from the outline of the philosophy in the main
paper, when it is said, here, that &rahman is the cause of creation and that
&rahman is non4different from everythin#. Ilsewhere, ,ankaracarya himself will
make it clear that creation does not proceed from nir#una &rahman, but from a
&rahman associated with .aya. 3nd when ,ankaracarya talks of unity and says
that &rahman is non4different from everythin#, what he means, as far as the
writer can make out, is that the one &rahman alone, as the sub4stratum, lends
existence to everythin# and the superimposed nama roopa bein# mithya,
&rahman is the sole reality and there is no other real entity to delimit &rahman.
+There is no world other than &rahman- is like sayin# that there is no pot other
than clay.
). 5ther passa#es in the /panishads revealin# the swaroopam of &rahman ('. e the
nature of &rahman are cited below (+&rahman- and +3tma- are interchan#eable
words That &rahman is non4dual (advayam, advaitam, advidtiiyam) is stated
in Fhando#ya /panishad A.).1 and A.).), in Kaivalya /panishad 1D and )<,
&rhadaranyaka /panishad ;.<.)), .andukya /panishad B,
Nrsimhaottaratapaniya /panishad C and D, 1amopoorvatapaniya /panishad K,
and .uktikopanishad ).B<. The Fhando#ya mantra A.).1, +'kam eva
advidiiyam- ne#ates swagata bheda (internal difference as in an entity havin#
parts, by the word, ?ekam%, swajatiiya bheda (difference between members of the
same species by the word, ?eva% and vijatiiya bheda (difference between one
species and another by the word ?advidiiyam% This is an elaboration of the non4
duality of &rahman, establishin# the uni"ue status of &rahman as the only
reality.. That &rahman is infinite (anantam, we can see in Taittiriya /panishad
).1., 4 +,atyam, !anma, anantam &rahma- and in ,wesvatara /panishad 1.D *
+3nantah ca atma visvaroopah6- 'n .andukya /panishad mantra B, it is said4
+'t is not the inward awareness. 't is not the outward awareness. 't is not the
intermediate awareness. 't is not the undifferentiated mass of awareness. 't is not
the knowin# awareness. 't is not non4awareness. 't is unperceivable. 't is not
accessible to transaction. 't cannot be #rasped. 't is attributeless. 't is not
accessible to thou#ht. 't is not amenable to communication. 't is the constant
atma that subsists in all the chan#in# states of the ahamkara.. 't is the remainder
of the annulment of the perceived universe. 't is chan#eless. 't is auspiciousness.
't is the non4dual reality free of all mithya ideas of difference. 66That is atma tat
is to be known. ($a antah-prajnam, na bahih- prajnam, na ubhyatah-prajnam,
na prajaana-ghanam na prajnam na aprajnam! adrshtam avyavahaaryam
agraahyam alakshanam acintyam avyapadesyam ekatma-pratyaya-saaram
prapancopasamam saantam sivam atma%". Kathopanishad
'.ii.)E and '.ii..)1 4 +,ubtler than the subtlest, #reater than the #reatest-. +Nearer
than the nearest, farther than the farthest 66..unmovin# movin# everywhere.-
(savasya Upanishad ; * +'t is unmovin# , one, faster than the mind- ('savasya
/panishad C * +0e is all pervasive, pure, bodiless, without wound, without
sinews, taintless, untouched by sin, omniscient, ruler of mind, transcendent, and
self4existent.- Kaivalya /panishad 1B * +' am that &rahman which illumines the
perceived world of wakin#, dream, and sleep- Kaivalya /panishad )1 4 ' see
without eyes, hear without ears. 3ssumin# various forms, ' know everythin#.
There is no one who is the knower of .e. ' am ever the pure consciousness. +
(+ .... )it sadaa aham.-. Kaivalya /panishad 1C +' am distinct from all those
which are the sub!ect, the ob!ect and the instrument. 'n all the three states 4
!a#rat, swapna and sushupti * ' am the witness who is the pure consciousness
(cinmaatra and who is ever auspicious.- Kaivalya /panishad )< * +........the
nature of >aramatma which is manifest in the mind, partless, non4dual, the
witness of all, distinct from cause and effect and pure...- Taittiriya /panishad
''.iv.1 4 +9ords and sense or#ans, alon# with the mind return, unable to reach
That- .undakopanishad '.i.A 4 +That which cannot be seen or #rasped, that
which has no source, that which has no features, that which has no eyes, ears, etc,
that which has no hands, feet etc. that which is eternal, that which is infinite, that
which is all pervadin#, that which is the subtlest of the subtlest, that which is
undiminishin# and that which is the source of all creation6- .undakopanishad
'''.i.C4 + +That which cannot be apprehended by si#ht or by words or by other
indriyas., that which cannot be attained by penance or rituals6.The
divisionless6..- .undakopanishad '''.i.B * + That ( i.e., &rahman is infinite,
efful#ent, not accessible to thou#ht, formless, subtler than the subtlest= farther
than the farthest. 't is, at the same time, near at hand in this body. 't is available
to be reco#ni$ed in one%s very heart, (i.e., as the consciousness behind the
ahamkara-. Kathopanishad '.iii.1K 4 +That which is soundless, touchless,
formless, undecayin#, tasteless, internal, smellless, imperishable, immortal,
be#innin#less, endless, (infinite, #reater than the #reatest, distinct from
intelli#ence, (i.e., distinct from ahamkara and chan#elessly constant6..-
'savasya /panishad K 4 +'t moves= it does not move. 't is far. 't is near. 't is inside
all this. 't is outside all this. -Kaivalya /panishad )E * +' (&rahman am smaller
than the smallest and, in the same way, ' am bi##er than the bi##est= 66..' am
the ancient one= ' am the ruler of all= ' am the efful#ent one= ' am the very
auspiciousness.- Kaivalya /panishad A 4 +&rahman which is the source of all,
pure, free from sorrow, beyond thou#hts, unmanifested, many4formed (in
association with thou#hts, auspicious, tran"uil, immortal, free from be#innin#
middle and end, non4dual, all pervasive, formless and wonderful and which is
consciousness and ananda.- Kaivalya /panishad B *+&rahman which is the cause
of all bein#s, the witness of all and beyond .aya.- Kaivalya /panishad 1A * +You
alone are that infinite, eternal, supreme &rahman which is the self of all, which is
the abode of all and which is subtler than the subtlest 4 that &rahman alone are
you.- Kaivalya /panishad 1B * +' am that &rahman which illumines the perceived
world of wakin# dream, sleep, etc.....- .undakopanishad ''.i.) 4 +Ifful#ent,
formless, all pervadin#, pervadin# the inside and outside of the perceived
universe, unborn, without prana and mind, pure, superior to the (other superior
(i.e. .aya- ,vetasvatara /panishad ('.1D 4 +9ithout parts, actionless, beyond
fluctuations, free from all defects, untainted, the means of crossin# the sea of
samsara and attainin# moksha- Kenopanishad '.< 4 +Iyes do not reach That nor
do words and not even the mind. 9e do not know ?That &rahman is of this kind%.
0ow to make &rahman known we do not know- Kenopanishad '. ;.4 + (&ecause
't is different from the known and 't is beyond the unknown * This is what we
have heard from our teachers who have tau#ht us about That &rahman.-
Kathopanishad ''.iii.1) 4 +Not by words nor by si#ht and not even by the mind can
't be reached. &ut he who says that 't does not exist can never attain 't.-
&rhadaranyaka /panishad '''.ix.)A, '(.ii.;, '(.iv.)), and '(.v.1K 4 +This 3tma is
that which has been described as ?Not this, not this%. 't is imperceptible, for 't is
never perceived= undecayin#, for 't never decays= unattached, for 't is never
attached= unfettered, 't never feels pain and never suffers in!ury. r6..-
&rhadaranyaka /panishad '(.iv.)E 4 +'t is to be reali$ed (in accordance with the
instructions of a teacher as non dual (for 't is unknowable, eternal. The 3tma is
taintless, is superior to unmanifested space (i.e. .aya, is unborn, infinite and
constant- &rahadaranyaka /panishad ;.;.)E * +'t should be reali$ed in one form
only. 't is unknowable and eternal. 't, the atma, is taintless, beyond space
(akasa, birthless, infinite and constant-. Fhando#ya /panishad ('.ii.1 +5, #ood
lookin# one, in the be#innin# this was Ixistence alone, 5ne only and without a
second.- Fhando#ya /panishad (iii.i.v * +This (&rahman does not #row old
when the body #rows old or die when the body dies (or killed when the body is
killed666.. This is the 3tma which is beyond sin, beyond decrepitude, beyond
death, beyond sorrow, beyond hun#er and thirst6.- Kenopanishad '.A * +That
which man does not comprehend with the mind. That by which6..mind is
pervaded.- Kenopanishad '.K * +That which is not uttered by speech, that by
which speech is revealed, know that alone to be &rahman, and not what people
worship as an ob!ect.- &rhadaranyaka /panishad '(.iii.1K * +This infinite is
relationless.- &rhadaranyaka /panishad '(.iv.)K * +That #reat birthless 3tma is
undecayin#, immortal, undyin#, fearless (because there is no second thin#, and
infinite.- (The word used for ?fearless is ?abhayam%. (,ankaracarya interprets
abhayam as ?devoid of avidya%. &rhadaranyaka /panishad '(.iii.A * ?%3tma is
self4efful#ent-. +.undaka /panishad '''.i.B * +'t is #reat because of its all4
pervasiveness and 't is all pervasive and self4efful#ent. 'ts features cannot be
thou#ht of. 't is subtler than the subtlest6..3mon# sentient bein#s 't is perceived
as seated in this very body, in the cavity of the heart * (+heart- is the term used
for the mind. &rhadaranyaka /panishad '''.viii.C 4 6..-This 'mmutable
&rahman is neither #ross nor minute, neither short nor lon#, neither red color
nor oiliness, neither shadow nor darkness, neither air nor ether, unattached,
neither taste nor smell, without eyes or ears, without the vocal or#an or
mind666,without the vital force , not a measure, and without interior or
exterior-. Kathopanishad '.iii.1K * That which is soundless, touchless, colorless,
undiminishin#, and also tasteless, eternal, odorless, without be#innin#, and
without end, distinct from .ahat, and ever constant.- &rhadaranyaka <.C.C * +'t
does not eat anythin# nor is 't eaten by anybody-. (?Iatin#% refers to experience.
,o, 't is neither the experiencer nor the experienced. &rhadaranyaka (.iii.)) *
+3tma has no punya or papa-. &rhadaranyaka '(,iii.<E * +That it does not know
in that state, because , thou#h knowin# then, it does not know= for the knower%s
function can never be lost.- (This is a description of sushupti, in which out of
which the ori#inal consciousness and cidabhasa, the ori#inal consciousness,
sakshi alone is functionin#. +Fhando#ya /panishad ('.ii.1 * +5ne only, non4
dual-. &rahadaranyaka /panishad '(.iv.1A * +That to which time is below (i.e.
That which is beyond time.- 5n the same lines, &rhadaranyaka '(.iv.1K * +6.
The 8ord of all that has been and will be6-3nd in &rhadaranyaka '''.ix.)A,
'(.ii.;, '(,iv.)) and '(,v.1K * +6.. 't is +asitah- ( i.e., not fettered by space, time
or entity. &rhadaranyaka /panishad ''.iii.A * +Now therefore the description of
(&rahmanJ ?not this, not this%. &ecause there is no other and more appropriate
description than this ?not this%.- &rhadaranyaka /panishad '(.iv.1D +There is no
plurality whatsoever in 't. 0e who re#ards the apparent plurality as real #oes
from death to death.- &rhadaranyaka /panishad '(.iv.)E * +'t should be reali$ed
in one form only.- * ,ankaracarya adds in his commentary * +as the homo#enous
pure caitanyam-. &rhadaranyaka /panishad '''. 'v. 1,'''.v.1 * That which is self4
evident is the &rahman which is within all- Fhando#ya /panishad (''.);.i * MThe
'nfinite is that where one does not see anythin# else, does not hear anythin# else
and does not know anythin# else-.. That which indeed is the 'nfinite is immortal.-
Kathopanishad '.ii.1; * +6that thin# which you see as different from dharma ,
different from adharma, different from cause and effect and different from the
past and the future.- &rhadaranyaka '(.iv.1K and 1B 4 N8ord of the past and the
future-. +&elow which the year with its days rotates-. Kathopanishad '.ii.1C *
+The intelli#ent ,elf is neither born nor does it die. 't did not ori#inate from
anythin#, nor did anythin# ori#inate from 't. 't is birthless, eternal, undecayin#
and ancient. 't is not in!ured even when the body is killed-. ,wesvatara
/panishad, 1.D. Kathopanishad '.ii.1D * +6't does not kill nor is it killed.- ('.e.
&rahman is akarta and abhokta. Kaivalya /panishad )1 * +'t is without hands or
feet-. &rhadaranyaka '''.iv.), '''.viii.11 * +You cannot see the seer of
cannot know the knower of the knower- +%'t is never seen but is the ,eer6 't is
never known but is the knower. There is no other ,eer than 't6There is no other
knower than 't-. (These are descriptions of the consciousness in oneself which is
self4evident and which one cannot know as an ob!ect.
1. /panishad passa#es, apart from the four famous mahavakyas which
assert the identity of the consciousness reco#ni$ed in oneself and the all
pervadin# &rahma caitanyam can be found in Taittiriya ).1.1,
Fhando#ya A.).1, C.).<, C.;.1, ,wetasvatara 1.1), &rhadaranyaka 1.;.B,
).;.1 <.;.1, <.K1, <.C.11, ;.<.B, ;.;.)K, ,wetasvatara <.1<, <.1C, 3itereya
1.<.11, <.1.;, .undaka ).).C, ).).D, <.).K, <.).A, <.).B, Kaivalya 1E, 1A etc.
The passa#es have been cited in Note entitled +1efutation 5f >lurality
5f 3tmas 3nd 5f 3tmas &ein# >art 5f &rahman- in the 3ppendix.
Section + - ,nreality o% t$e Perceied -orld
<. There are various passa#es in the /panishads from which we can derive the
doctrine of the unreality or the lower order of reality of the perceived world.
9hen &rahman is said to be non4dual, or one without a second (advayam,
advaitam, advidiiyam, ekam) as in &rahadaranyaka, Kaivalya, Fhando#ya,
.andukya and in ,wesvatara or &rahman is said to be infinite, as in Taittiriya
and ,wesvatara, it means that the perceived world is of lower order of reality.
There are numerous other statements indicatin# the unreality of the experienced
perceived world. &rhadaranyaka ;.;.1D and Katha ).1.11 4 +There is no diversity
whatsoever in 't-. (This is ne#ation of dwaitam, the i#norant notion that the
experienced perceived world is real. &rhadaranyaka ;.<.<1, ).;.1; and ;.K.1K *
+9hen there is somethin# other than &rahman, as it were, one can see somethin#
else66.know somethin# else.- The words, +as it were- (or +as thou#h- * +ivaO in
,anskrit indicate that everythin# except &rahman is unreal. ,imilarly, in
&rhadaranyaka mantra '(.iv.1D and Katopanishad ''.i.11, the word +iva- is used
in the passa#e +0e who sees diversity, as it were, in 't #oes from death to death-
followin# the passa#e declarin# that +there is no diversity whatsoever in 't.
+(+neha nana asti kinca na, mrtyoh sa mrtyum apnoti ya iha nana iva pasyati-
The word +iva- referrin# to the perception of plurality indicates that plurality is
unreal. 'n Taittiriya /panishad ''.vii.1, it is said that whenever the aspirant
perceives the sli#htest difference in 't (&rahman, he is smitten with fear, 'n
&rhadaranyaka ).<.A, <.D.)A, ;.) ;, ;.;.)) and ;.K.1K, &rahman is described as
+not this, not this- (+neti neti- indicatin# that it is of a hi#her order of reality
than the perceived world. 'n <.;.), <.K.1, and <.B.)<, talkin# of &rahman that is
immediate and direct, the atma within all, the /panishad says that except That
(i.e., &rahman, everythin# is aarttam. ,ankaracarya explains in <.K.1 that
+aarttam- means that everythin# else is perishable, beset with troubles and
unsubstantial like dream, illusion or mira#e. 'n &rahadaranyaka ).<.A, the
/panishad says +&rahman is the Truth of truth, the vital force (+praana- is
truth, and 't is the Truth of that. +>raana- stands for the universe. 3lso, read with
).<.1 to ).<.K, we can see that the word +truth- with +t- in small case refers to the
#ross and subtle parts of the perceived world and our bodies and &rahman is said
to be the Truth of these. This is also meant to show that the perceived world
includin# our bodies and minds is of a lower of reality than &rahman. .Fhando#ya
A.C.B says that 't (&rahman is the subtle essence and the 1eality 4 which implies
that the perceived world, the superimposition is unreal. . Gistin#uishin# from the
infinite, immortal &rahman, Fhando#ya B.);.1 says, +The finite is that that in
which one sees somethin# else66 knows somethin# else. That which is finite is
mortal.- 'n >rasna <.<., it is said that from &rahman is born this prana (prana
stands for the experienced universe, !ust as there can be a shadow when a man is
there. 'n Ya!urveda it is said of &rahman said that thou#h, 't is not one that can
be born, it is born as manifold ob!ectsPwhich is a rhetorical assertion of the
unreality of creation. 'n ,wetasvatara <.1E, the /panishad talks of an entity that
is superior to that which is superior and says that one who knows that entity
which is attributeless and beyond the threefold affliction as oneself becomes
immortal. 'n the commentary, it is said that ?that which is superiorM refers to the
perceived universe and the entity superior to that refers to &rahman. 'n the sixth
chapter of Fhando#ya /panishad, which deals with &rahman as the eternal
unchan#in# Ixistence, in A.1.;, A.1.K and A.1.A, the /panishad #ives the examples
of a lump of clay, an in#ot of #old and a lump of iron and their formation as a pot,
ornament and nail4cutter, respectively, to show that &rahman as the essence, as
the Ixistence, alone is real and the names and forms superimposed on &rahman
are unreal.- Kaivalya )< /panishad says, +There is neither earth nor water nor
fire nor air nor space.- 3itereya <.1.< says that it is Fonsciousness (i.e., &rahman
that lends reality (existence to 0iranya#arbha 6. the five elements and all
;. There is also lo#ic in sayin# that the perceived world is unreal. 'f the perceived
world is real, it cannot be ne#ated by knowled#e. 5nly if advaitam (&rahman as
the sole reality is accepted, can we talk of moksha throu#h the knowled#e of the
mithyaatvam of the dwaitam and the satyatvam of advaita (jaganmithya
brahmasatyam. 3nother ar#ument which ,ankaracarya #ives is that space and
time are part of the perceived universe, that you cannot talk of a space and time
located in which this creation took placeQ because that would lead to infinite
re#ress and that therefore, creation has to be unreal. ,uresvaracarya talks of an
?outward view ?and an ?inwardM view. >henomenality and non4existence of the
perceived world are not opposed. 9e cannot deny the practical reality of the
world. :rom the relative standpoint of avidya, the perceived world exists and is
real and meanin#ful. 't is not a mira#e. This is the ?outward view. &ut, from the
standpoint of &rahman, there is neither avidya nor the perceived world. This is
what ,uresvaracarya calls ?the inward view%.
Section . - Pra(ana(
3uthority of the /panishad for &rahman Not &ein# the 3ctual Freator.
K. /panishads indicate specifically that &rahman is not the cause of the perceived
universe. &rhadaranyaka ).K.1D * +&rahman is without prior or posterior-.
Kathopanishad 1.).1; +different from cause and effect-= Kathopanishad 1.).1C *
+'t did not ori#inate from anythin# nor did anythin# ori#inate from it-. 3 real
cause has to under#o chan#e to become effect and once a real cause becomes
effect, it ceases to exist in that form. Therefore passa#es in the /panishads
indicatin# chan#elessness and eternity would mean that &rahman cannot be the
modifyin# material cause (parinaami upaadaana kaaranam of the perceived
world. .uktikopanishad 4+'t is chan#eless.- Kathopanishad 1.).1C * +'t is neither
born nor does it die-= Kathopanishad 1.<.1K, ,wetasvatara K.1<, Kaivalya A. 4
4.Katha 1.).1C, 1.<.1K, ).).1<,, .undaka 1.1.A Kaivalya A, 1A= &rhadaranyaka
<.C.C.,, .undaka 1.1.K.,1.1.B, 1.).1<, ).1.1., ).).), ).).<, ).).B, ).).11, >rasna ;.D,
;.1E, Fhando#ya C.<.;,, C.B.;, C.1..1, C.1).1., &rhadaranyaka ).K.1 to ).K.1;, ;.;.1A,
;.;.1B, ;.;.)K,, Katha ),).C,, ,wetasvatara 1.B, 1.1E, ;.C, ;.1C, K.A, A.A, A.1B, A.1<,
A.1D. * +'t is immutable- +'t is transcendental- +'t is without be#innin# (anaadi-,
+'t is birthless (a!ah-, +'t is without end (anantam)" +'t is eternal (nityam-, +'t
is indestructible (aksharam)-, +'t is immortal (amrtam-. ,o, &rahman
modifyin# and becomin# the perceived universe is illo#ical. . 'n Taittiriya
/panishad &hashya (artikam, ,ureswaracarya #ives three reasons to show why
&rahman cannot be actual creator. (' &rahman is all4pervasive. ,o, there cannot
be anythin# that can be 'ts effect. (ii &rahman is one and non4dual. ,o, there
cannot be a second entity to be related with 't in terms of cause4effect relation.
(iii &rahman is immutable. Freation involves not only transformation of matter
but visualisation and action. Therefore, /panishad mantras ne#atin# thinkin#
and action on the part of &rahman would mean that &rahman cannot be the
intelli#ent cause (nimitta kaaranam of the perceived universe. ,wetasvatara 1.D,
A.1D * +'t is actionless- -= ,wetasvatara A.C * +'t has neither body nor
instruments- -= Katha 1.).1D 4+'t does not kill nor is 't killed (this ne#ates action
and en!oyment and sufferin#- &rhadaranyaka <.C.C * +That immortal does not
have vocal or#an or a mind-. .undaka ).1.) * ?'t does not have vital force or a
mind O. 'n Kaivalya )), &rahman, speakin# in the first person says, +' have
neither birth nor body, nor sense or#ans nor the mind4intellect e"uipment. ($a
janma dehendriya buddhih asti ,o, &rahman bein# the intelli#ent cause
(nimitta kaaranam of the universe is also not lo#ical. &ut /panishads do say in
other places that &rahman visualised, wished, thou#ht, deliberated on creation,
vide Fhando#ya A.).< , Taittiriya ).A.1, 3itereya 1.1.<, 1.1.;, 1.<.1.,1.<.), 1.<.11 and
created the perceived universe, vide Fhando#ya A.).<, Taittiriya ).1.1 -,,),B.1,
<.1.1, 3itareya 1.1.). The explanation is twofold. (a The universe is not a real
product of &rahman. &rahman is not a modifyin# material cause (not +parinami
upaadaana kaaranam".) 't is not like milk becomin# curd. 't is only vivarta
upaadaana karanam. +#ivarta- is a technical term, indicatin# the unreality of
creation. (The unreality of &rahman becomin# many is indicated by the prefix
?pra% in the passa#e ?bahusyaam pra!aayeti% in Fhando#ya /panishad A.).<..
&rahman does not under#o any modification. 'n its nature as all pervadin#
Ixistence, it is !ust available as the substratum (adhishthanam) for nama roopa
to be superimposed. The actual material cause (parinami upaadaana
kaaranam is .aya which superimposes, on the sub4stratum, the differentiated
nama roopa on account of which we perceive a world of ob!ects. ,imilarly, the
entity that visualises and desi#ns the names and forms to be superimposed and
impels .aya to unfold and superimpose the names and forms is 'swara. 'swara is
.aya in which the Fonsciousness aspect of &rahman (&rahma caitanyam/ is
reflected. ('n Taittiriya /panishad &hashya (artikam, ,ureswaracarya #ives three
reasons to show why &rahman cannot be actual creator. (' &rahman is all4
pervasive. ,o, there cannot be anythin# that can be 'ts effect. (ii &rahman is one
3nd non4dual. ,o, there cannot be a second entity to be related with 't in terms of
cause4effect relation. (iii &rahman is immutable. ,o, &rahman cannot be the
cause of the world.
Section 0 - 'ra$(an as E1istence
*$e Sub-Stratu( o% t$e ,nierse o% Na(es and 2or(s
A. 'n various /panishads we see that &rahman is said to be the sub4stratum
(+adhishtaanam- of the universe. 9ords such as +sub4stratum- +root- +support-
+That in which thin#s are fixed + occur in Katha 1.).11, ).).C. ).<.1,
&rhadaranyaka ).K.1K, &rhadaranyaka ;.;.1B, .undaka ).).) Fhando#ya C.1;.1,
Taittiriya <.1E.<, Nrsimhaottaratapaniya ) and 1amottaratapaniya. ,wetasvatara
1.C talks of &rahman as the support of the unmanifested and the manifest
universe. Fhando#ya ('.viii.;, startin# from food and passin# throu#h water and
fire, says, +5, #ood4lookin# one, throu#h fire as the sprout understand Ixistence
as the root and concludes +3ll these thin#s have Ixistence as their root. Ixistence
is their abode. Ixistence is their place of mer#er-. 'n the fifth section of the
second chapter of &rhadaranyaka /panishad declares that the shinin# immortal
bein# (&rahman, atma is in the cosmic body. 'n ).K.1 to 1;, Ya!navalkya talks of
the efful#ent immortal bein# (&rahman, atma as the earth, water, fire, air, space,
sun, moon, the human species, the cosmic body etc.., as associated with them, as
bein# the underlyin# unity and as &rahman and as the ,elf. &rhadaranyaka
''',iv.1 and ) talk of &rahman as the inner essence of all (sarvaantarah. 'n the
ei#hth section of the third chapter of &rhadaranyaka /panishad, 'swara ?s
pervasion of the universe is metaphorically said to be the warp and woof of earth,
water, fire etc. , 'swara is referred to as the unmanifested space and in the ei#hth
mantra, the 'mmutable &rahman is said to be That that pervades 'swara. 'n
Fhando#ya /panishad mantras('.iii.) .and ('''.xiv.1. the words, +namaroope
vyakaravaani- and + namaroopayoh nirvahitaa- occur. The first says +' (referrin#
to &rahman shall clearly manifest name and form (4 we have to add ?throu#h
'swara%R. The second (based on ,ankaracarya%s commentary says-Thatwhich is
indeed called space (i.e. &rahman is the manifester of name and form. (3#ain,
we have to add ?throu#h 'swara% (?,pace% is a word often used in /panishads to
refer to &rahman. ,ankaracarya%s commentary 4 +&ecause like space, 't is
bodiless and subtle.- ,ankaracarya #ives the example of water manifestin# foam.
,ankaracarya #oes on to say +That which exists in the names and forms (i.e., that
which is the support,the substratum of nama roopa is &rahman. That is not
touched by name and form, is different from name and form (and yet it is their
manifester. That is immortal. That is the 3tma.- Fhando#ya A.<.) * speakin# of
Ixistence4&rahman, +That Geity6.deliberated, ?9ell, by enterin# into these three
#ods (fire, water and earth, in the form of each individual !iva, let me manifest
name and form%-. &rhadaranyaka /panishad '.vi.1 *+The (experienced universe
verily is made up of three thin#s * name, form, function.- &rhadaranyaka
/panishad '.iv.B * +The universe was then undifferentiated. 't differentiated
itself only as name and form. ,o even now the universe is only manifested as
name and form * it #ets such and such name and such and such form.- Taittiriya
/panishad mantra ''.vii.1 * +'n the be#innin# all this was the unmanifested.
:rom that emer#ed the manifested (asat va idam agra aasiit! tato vai sat
ajaayata-. 3nd in &rahadaranyaka 1.;.B, the /panishad says that &rahman
entered the universe. Ixplainin# the word, +entered-, ,ankaracarya says that, like
the reflection of the sun etc. in water, the entrance of &rahman means only 'ts
bein# perceived like a reflection in the differentiated universe. &efore the
manifestation of the differentiated universe, &rahman is not perceived, but after
the differentiated universe is manifested, &rahman is perceived within the
intellect. like the reflection of the sun, etc. in water and the like. 9hat this
amounts to is that &rahman has to be reco#ni$ed as the sub4stratum of Ixistence,
in #eneral and, in particular, as the consciousness behind the minds and as the
source of the reflected consciousness in the minds. 'n his commentary on
Fhando#ya, A, C,B, ,ankaracarya says +The ,elf (3tma, &rahman throu#h which
all this universe becomes possessed of its self (Ixistence That itself is the source
called Ixistence, the Truth, the ,upreme 1eality. 0ence that indeed is the self of
the world, its inmost, its "uintessence, its very reality- 'n his commentary on
Taittiriya ).A.1, explainin# the word, +praa!aayaayeti- ,ankaracarya explains,
+.ultiplication, here, does not refer to somethin# becomin# extraneous as one
does by be#ettin# a son. 0ow then@ Throu#h the manifestation of name and form
44 Then that evolution of name and form is (what is called the appearance of
&rahman as the many. 'n no other way is it possible for the partless &rahman to
become either multiple or finite, as for instance the finitude and plurality of space
are surely the creations of extraneous factors. 6..Therefore it is only because of
&rahman that name and form have their bein# under all circumstances, but
&rahman does not consist of them. They are said to be essentially &rahman since
they cease to exist when &rahman is eliminated.. 3#ain, in the commentary on
Taittiriya ).A.1, ,ankaracarya says, +6.there bein# no existence for any of these
modifications of name and form apart from the &rahman-. :rom these also, it is
clear that &rahman in 'ts aspect as the eternal unchan#in# Ixistence provides the
sub4stratum, that the sub4stratum is alone real and the chan#in# nama roopa
superimposed on 't are unreal.. ('n all passa#es which talk of manifestation of
nama roopa, by &rahman, (e.#., Fhando#ya A.<) * +666entered into these three
deities throu#h this !iva and differentiated nama roopa-, we have to understand
that the manifestation of the universe is due to the unfoldin# of the .aya part of
'swara and not any transformation of &rahman. &rahman%s role is only the
eternal presence as Ixistence, the substratum for the alternation of unevolved
and evolved nama roopa. &rahman is also the sub4stratum for the vyavaharika
mithya .aya, !ust as the rope is the sub4stratum for the pratibhasika mithya
1. 9hen we say that &rahman is non4dual or &rahman alone is real, we are
referrin# to the paramarthika satyam. 9hen we say that &rahman is
everythin#, we are includin# vyavaharika satyam and referrin# to the
substratum, the paramarthika satyam and the names and forms, the
vyavaharika satyam, superimposed on 't, to#ether, without pre!udice to
the latter bein# of a lower order of reality (&rahma satyam
!a#anmithya. 9hen we say that the world is unreal or mithya, we are
referrin# to the names and forms only, thevyavaharika satyam.
B. &rahman is not !ust Ixistence but Ixistence4Fonsciousness4'nfinity. 0owever,
the Fonsciousness aspect is reco#ni$able only in certain forms of nama roopa,
what we call the animate as distin#uished from the inanimate. &ut the essence of
the entire cosmos is &rahman alone. 'n &rhadaranyaka, from <.B.) to <.C.11, the
/panishad leads us from the subtle principle of the universe (0iranya#arbha,
called sootra), from sootra to the causal principle 'swara, called antaryami and
aakasa * up to this, the vyavaharika prapanca 4 and from akasa to the absolute,
&rahman, called aksharam (the 'mmutable * i.e., from the samashti sukhma
prapanca upahita caitanyam to samashti kaarana prapanca upahita
caitanyam to nirupaadhika caitanyam. (This is to teach us that the ultimate
essence is nir#una &rahman, not any form of sa#una &rahman. &rhadaranyaka
<.B.)<, dealin# with 'swara, the 'nner Fontroller, 'swara and <.C.1, dealin# with
nir#una &rahman as- it is never the known, but is the Knower= there is no other
Knower than 0eS't-. Gescription in the same terms indicates that 'swara, in 0is
real nature is &rahman. There is only one &rahman on which the notions of !iva
and 'swara are superimposed. 'n his commentary on <.C.1), which concludes the
topic, ,ankaracarya says, +9hat is the difference between them, the 'mmutable
(aksharam and the 'nternal 1uler (antaryami@'ntrinsically there is neither
difference nor idenitity amon# them, for they are by nature pure
Fonsciousness66The unconditioned ,elf (nirupadhika atma , bein# beyond
speech and mind, devoid of attributes and one, is desi#nated as ?not this, not
this%= when it has the limitin# ad!uncts (upadhis of the body and or#ans, which
are characteri$ed by avidya , desire and work, 't is called the samsari !iva and
when the atma has the limitin# ad!unct of the power of eternal and unsurpassable
knowled#e (i.e. .aya, 't is called the 'nternal 1uler, 'swara. The same atma,
nirupadhika, absolute and pure, by nature is called the 'mmutable, the ,upreme
(aksharam, para. ,imilarly, havin# the limitin# ad!uncts of the bodies and
or#ans of 0iranya#arbha, the /ndifferentiated, the #ods, the species, the
individual, man, animal, spirits etc., and the atma assumes the particular names
and forms. Thus we have explained throu#h the ,ruti vakyam ?'t moves and does
not move% ('savasya K. 'n this li#ht alone such texts as ?This is your atma (within
all ( &rhadaranyaka <.;.1,) and <.K.1, +0e is the inner self of all bein#s
(.undaka ).1.;, ?This (&rahman is hidden in all bein#s% ( Katha 1.<.1), Thou
art That ( Fhando#ya K.C.B, ?' myself am all this% (Fhando#ya B.)K.1, ?3ll this but
the atma%( Fhando#yaB.)K.1 and ?There is no other witness but 0e%
(&rhadaranyaka <.B.)< will not become contradictory= in any other view they
cannot be harmoni$ed. Therefore the entities mentioned above differ only
because of their limitin# ad!uncts, but not in any other manner, for all the
/panishads conclude ?5ne only without a second? (Fhando#ya A.).1.
To say that ?everythin#% is &rahman is the same thin# as to say ?&rahman alone is
real= the world is mithya% * vide &rhadaranyaka /panishad '(.v.B 4 +idam sarvam
yadayam atma%. 'dam sarvam yadayamatma T Iverythin# that is here is atma T
Nothin# exists separate from atma T Iverythin# is dependent on atma for its
existence. 9hatever has dependend existence is mithya T everythin# other than
atma is mithya T The nama roopas includin# our body mind complexes are
mithya. Iven 'swara is mithya.
Section 3 - 4reator is Is-ara *oget$er -it$ 5aya
1. 9e have already seen in ,ection A that the since &rahman is non4dual,
eternal, chan#eless, and devoid of attributes and devoid of instruments
of knowled#e and action, &rahman cannot be creator of the perceived
world, whether as the material cause or the intelli#ent cause, thou#h
passa#es are there sayin# that &rahman visuali$ed and &rahman created
the universe. 9e have to look for an entity or entities other than
&rahman, as the intelli#ent and material cause (parinaaami upaadaana
kaaranam and nimitta kaaranam of the universe. 'n certain passa#es,
/panishad itself introduces .aya and talks of creation proceedin# from
the association of &rahman with .aya. 'n abhasa vada we re#ard this
association to be a reflection of &rahma caitanyam in .aya and we talk
of the entity formed by such reflection as 'swara and we attribute to
'swara the functions of visuali$in# creation and impellin# .aya to
unfold nama roopa and superimpose the nama roopa on the sub4
stratum, &rahman, the Ixistence. 3nd, so, even thou#h the word,
+&rahman- and + 'swara- occur without a clear distinction, wherever we
meet with passa#es in the /panishads which talk of omniscience and
omnipotence, or of visuali$ation or the act of creation or of
differentiation of nama roopa, we have to take them to refer to such an
'swara aided by .aya as the cause of the perceived universe, the
nir#una &rahman (the pure Ixistence4Fonsciousness4 'nfinity servin#
only as the sub4stratum , without under#oin# any chan#e., ,ince
&rahman is non4dual, 'swara and .aya have, necessarily, to be of a
lower order of reality.
). 'n his bhashyam on &rahmasutra ''.ii.1;, ,ankaracarya makes the
followin# statementsJ4
o &rahman is chan#eless and eternal and cannot under#o
any modification whatsoever.
o 5ri#in, continuance and dissolution of the world would
result from ?'swara% who is by nature eternal, pure,
consciousness and free, as also omniscient and
o Nama roopa, which are in the omniscient ?'swara%
con!ured up by avidya which cannot be cate#ori$ed as
existent or non4existent, the seed of the samsara
universe, are mentioned in the sruti and smriti as the
.aya sakti of the omniscient 'swara or as >rakriti.
o ?'swara% conforms to the limitin# ad!uncts 4 nama roopa
* created by avidya, like space conformin# to the
conditionin# factors like pot, !ar etc.
o ?'swara%s rulership, omniscience and omnipotence are
contin#ent on the limitin# ad!uncts (upadhis con!ured
up by avidya.
o ,ruti also talks of functions like rulership only in the
vyavaharika plane. Thou#h we do not #et a clear picture
from these, this much is certain * Nir#una &rahman is
not the creator. Freation is a matter of nama roopa
con!ured up by .aya. Hod conforms to the limitin#
ad!uncts, the nama roopa, created by .aya.
<. 3s an example of the same entity bein# both the intelli#ent cause and
the material cause of the universe, /panishad refers to the spider
producin# the web out of its own body #uided by its own instinct (vide
.undaka 1.1.B 4 +2ust as the spider spins out the web out of its own body
and withdraws it unto itself, so out of the 'mmutable does the universe
emer#e here (in this phenomenal creation.-. 3nother example is the
person perceivin# his own vasanas as a dream world. 0e is not only the
creator of the dream inasmuch as it is he who is creatin# a dream world
but the raw material for the dream world is also his own vasanas. 8ike
that 'swara is not only the visuali$er, but the material for creation is also
in 'swara as .aya.
C. 9hat are the /panishad passa#es from which we can derive 'swara, to#ether with
.aya, bein# the cause of the universe@
.undaka /panishad '.i.D 4 +That omniscient 5ne 6.from 0is envisionin#
(!nanamaya tapah%does 0iranya#arbha and this universe ofnama roopa
ori#inate.- Fhando#ya /panishad ('.ii.<4 +That (Ixistence visuali$ed(tat
aikshata ?' shall become many. ' shall be born.- Taittiriya /panishad ''.vi.1 *
+0e (the ,elf wished (sa akamayata ?8et be many. 8et me be born666.0e
undertook a deliberation (sa tapah atapyata. 0avin# deliberated, he created all
that exists.-4 3itereya /panishad'.i.1 +66..0e thou#ht (sa aikshata ?let me
create the worlds%
,wetasvatara /panishad '(.1P+Know .aya to be prakriti and maheswara to be
mayii .>rakriti is the word used for the material cause of the universe. .ayii
means the master of .aya.- ,wetasvatara '(. D says that .ayii creates veda
6..and whatever is mentioned in the (eda, i.e. the entire universe. 'n the
commentary, which some believe is ,ankaracarya%s, the "uestion is asked, +0ow
can the chan#eless &rahman be the creator of the universe@- The answer #iven is
that that is possible because of 'ts power called .aya. .aya con!ures up the
universe and owin# to the influence of that .aya, !ivas re#ard themselves to be
different from &rahman and wallow in the ocean of samsara. ,wetasvatara
/panishad '.D talks of three unborn entitles4 (i jna (the omniscient, the iisa (the
ruler, (ii ajna (the i#norant, aniisa (the ruled and (iii eka
bhoktrubhogyaayukta (the one ordained to provide experienceable ob!ects for
the experiencer, says that the infinite atma is in the form of the universe and is
akarta. 't concludes sayin# that the one who reali$es the three * iisa, aniisa and
bhoktrybho#yaayukta 4 to be &rahman (is liberated. 'n the commentary, !na,
a!na and bhoktrubho#y#ayukta are e"uated to 'swara, !iva and prakriti (i.e.
.aya. The si#nificance of this passa#e is that 'swara and .aya are distin#uished
from nir#una &rahman. ('n the commentary, here also, there is a discussion as to
how the chan#eless non4dual abhokta &rahman be in the form of 'swara, !iva and
the universe. 3nd the answer #iven, a#ain, is that on account of the upadhi, .aya,
associated with .aya &rahman appears to be divided into the products of .aya 4
'swara, !iva and the universe. 3nd it is clarified that there is no "uestion of
duality because the anirevacaniiya .aya is not a substance. Knowin# 'swara, !iva
and the universe to be &rahman means that &rahman is the adhishtanam and
since 'swara, !iva and the universe are products of .aya (i.e. mithya, they are
not different entities. ,wetasvatara 1.B says that the three are supported by
>arabrahman. 'n the commentary, in keepin# with 1.1), the three are said to refer
to bhokta, bho#yam and prerita (i.e. !iva, !a#at and 'swara. 1.1) says that bhokta,
bho#yam and prerita are said to be &rahman. 'n the commentary, it is clarified
that ?bhokta% refers to !iva, ?bho#yam% to the !a#at and ?prerita% to antaryami,
parameswara. Thou#h as, ,wami .rdananda points out, the distinction of !iva,
!a#at and 'swara as three entities is relevant only in the state of i#norance and
when one #ains knowled#e one will come to know that they are all only
manifestations of the non4dual &rahman, the si#nificance of 1.B and 1.1) is that
'swara is mentioned as an entity separate from &rahman and as the impeller (i.e.
the one who sets in motion the creation process and as the 'nner Fontroller. ('n
the ,astra, the 'nner Fontroller, antaryami, is an appellation of iiswara.
,wetasvatara ;.1) talks of the creator of #ods as maharshi (all4seein#, i.e.
omniscient. ,wetasvatara 1.11 distin#uishes !nanam and upasana. 't says by
!nanam (the knowled#e. ?' am &rahman% one #ets freed of papa and other
afflictions and overcomes the cycle of births and deaths. 't continues and says
that, by meditation on &rahman, one attains 'swara, on the fall of the physical
body, en!oys, there, visvaaiswaryam (all auspicious benefits and, #ettin# all
desires fulfilled and reali$in# identity with nir#una &rahman ( cf. commentary,
at the end, becomes &rahman. The si#nificance of this mantra also, is that 'swara
is distin#uished from nir#una &rahman (4 the word used for &rahman is ?kevala%.
1. 1E talks of the one Hod who rules over *radhaana and atma (here, the word
?atma% refers to !ivatma (in the commentary the word, is ?>urusha%. The
si#nificance is that the mantra #oes on to say that by meditatin# on that Hod, and
(later by tattabhaava (knowin# ?' am &rahman% one #ets liberated from
visvamaaya. >radhanam is the word for the material cause of the universe in the
,ankhya system ands has been borrowed in 3dvaita (edanta as the e"uivalent of
.aya. (iswamaya means samsara. ,wetasvatara A.1A * +0e (&rahman is the
creator of the universe, the knower of the universe (viswavid, the atma of all, the
ori#in of all, the omniscient, the creator of time, one endowed with attributes
( such as freedom papa (gunii, the repository of all knowled#e, the master of
pradhanam and intellect of !ivas (kshestrajna, vijnanaatma, the ruler of #unas,
i.e satva, ra!as, tamas, 4 which means .aya 4 and the cause of the bonda#e by,
experience of and liberation from samsara. The si#nificance is that the mantra
talks of sa#una &rahman, &rahman endowed with omniscience as bein# the ruler
of .aya and bein# the creator. ,wetasvatara 1.C * +The ruler of the universe (i.e.
'swara rules over the perishable manifested universe (ksharam, vyaktam and
the imperishable unmanifested (aksharam, avyaktam and also the !ivas who are
bound by the notion of bein# bhoktas.- 'n the commentary, it is said that by
meditatin# on the sopadshika paramatma in the macrocosmic and microcosmic
forms (samashti and vyashti and #ainin# knowled#e of the nirupadhika 'swara,
one #ets liberated. ,wetasvatara /panishad ('.1B talks of &rahman as bein# in
the form of the universe, as immortal, as bein# in the form of 'swara
(iisasamsthah, the knower of everythin#, , all pervadin#, protector of the
universe and as the one who administers (the laws of this universe, because no
other entity is capable of doin# so. 'n Kaivalya /panishad B, there is mention of
'swara, sa#una &rahman, clearly distin#uished from nir#una &rahman= this
mantra talks of meditation on >arameswara, the 8ord, with three eyes and blue
neck, the cause of all the manifested world and the witness of all. 'n his
commentary on <.C.1), which concludes the topic, ,ankaracarya says, +9hat is
the difference between them, the 'mmutable (aksharam and the 'nternal 1uler
(antaryami@'ntrinsically there is neither difference nor idenitity amon# them,
for they are by nature pure Fonsciousness66The unconditioned ,elf
(nirupadhika atma , bein# beyond speech and mind, devoid of attributes and
one, is desi#nated as ?not this, not this%= when it has the limitin# ad!uncts
(upadhis of the body and or#ans, which are characteri$ed by avidya , desire and
work, 't is called the samsari !iva and when the atma has the limitin# ad!unct of
the power of eternal and unsurpassable knowled#e (i.e. .aya, 't is called the
'nternal 1uler, 'swara. The same atma, nirupadhika, absolute and pure, by
nature is called the 'mmutable, the ,upreme (aksharam, para. ,imilarly, havin#
the limitin# ad!uncts of the bodies and or#ans of 0iranya#arbha, the
/ndifferentiated, the #ods, the species, the individual, man, animal, spirits etc.,
and the atma assumes the particular names and forms. Fhulika /panishad talks
of .aya as the cause of modification. Hopichand /panishad talks of
+mayaasahita &rahman-. Fertain other /panishads also talk of .aya as the
power of &rahman or of &rahman with .aya (.ayasahita &rahman in
connection with creation. 'n &rhadaranyaka /panishad first chapter, section )
and <, we see 0iranya#arbha creatin# the five elements, and livin# bein#
includin# #ods and asuras and animals. >rasnopabishad 1.; also talks of >ra!apati
(i.e. 0iranya#arbha as deliberatin# (on knowled#e ac"uired in the past life and
which related to ob!ects revealed by the (edas and creatin# the pair of food and
prana (which stand respectively the experiener and the experienced. 'n
,wetasvatara /panishad ('.1C (and in Yo#asara /panishad, it is said that 'swara
created &rahmaa (0iranya#arbha first and #ave the (eda to him. 'n .undaka
/panishad also, in 1.1.1., it is said that &rahmaa (0iranya#arbha was the first
amon# the #ods to be born. Kaivalya A talks of &rahman as +brahmayonim- (the
cause of &rahmaa, i.e. 0iranya#arbha. 'swara alone is uncreated. 3ll #ods,
personified aspects of 'swara%s cosmic functions are all created. ('swara, .aya,
!iva, karma and time are alone be#innin#less in the vyavaharika plane.
0iranya#arbha is the personified aspect of 'swara in his function as creator. 9e
also find in &ha#avad#ita >rakriti as the modifyin# material cause and the
instrument used by the 8ord for creation vide B.A, D.B, D.C, D.1E, 1<.1D and 1<.)E.
. .aya consists of matter only and can only be the material cause of the universe.
:or any entity bein# the intelli#ent cause, consciousness has to be derived from
the &rahman, the non4dual Fonsciousness.
;. 5n the basis of the passa#es cited in the present section and the
previous section, we arrive at an entity called 'swara, constituted of
.aya in which &rahma caitanyam is reflected , as the intelli#ent cause
(nimitta karanam, visuali$in# and plannin# creation in accordance with
the karma of !ivas and #uided and impelled by him .aya, as the
modifyin# material cause (parinami upadana karanam transformin#
into the perceived world, i.e. what was nama roopa in unevolved form
becomin# manifested nama roopa and bein# superimposed on the
chan#eless substratum, the Ixistence4Fonsciousness, &rahman, by the
combination of which sub4stratum and the superimposed nama roopa
we are able to experience the universe, thou#h what we perceive is only
the nama roopa. &rahman, the sub4stratum is not only Ixistence. 't is
also Fonsciousness. ,ome of the nama roopa, vi$., our minds are so
constituted that they can reflect the Fonsciousness aspect of &rahman,
the sub4stratum. Thus, the minds of livin# bein#s become conscious
entities and they, in turn lend sentiency to the sense or#ans and bodies.
K. Thou#h 'swara, instead of &rahman, is postulated as the intelli#ent and
material cause of the universe.(+abhinna nimitta upaadaana kaaranam-
and .aya becomes the chan#in# cause of the universe (parinami
upadana karanam we call &rahman as the +vivarta kaaranam- of the
universe, because &rahman does not under#o chan#e when nama roopa
are superimposed. &ut, without under#oin# any chan#e, the Ixistence
aspect of &rahman serves as the sub4stratum for nama roopa to be
superimposed. &ut for the existence of the sub4stratum, the unreal
universe cannot appear. The false snake that is perceived on the rope
encountered in semi4darkness cannot appear but for the existence of the
rope. &rahman is also, indirectly, the nimitta kaaranam, because, but
for the presence of &rahma caitanyam, 'swara will not have the reflected
consciousness, which enables him to function as the intelli#ent cause of
the universe.
A. 3s examples of the same entity bein# both the intelli#ent cause and the
material cause of the universe, /panishad #ives the example of the
spider producin# the web out of its own body #uided by its own instinct
(vide .undaka 1.1.B 4 +2ust as the spider spins out the web out of it own
body and withdraws it unto itself, so out of the 'mmutable does the
universe emer#e here (in this phenomenal creation.-. 3nother example
is the person perceivin# his own vasanas as a dream world. 0e is not
only the creator of the dream inasmuch as it is he who is creatin# a
dream world but the raw material for the dream world is also his own
vasanas. 8ike that 'swara is not only the visuali$er, but the material for
creation is also in 'swara as .aya.
Section 6 - Status o% 5aya
D. The avarana sakti of .ayii is indicated in certain /panishads. 4 ,wetasvatara
/panishad 1.< talks of >aramatma bein# veiled by the three #unas (satva, ra!as,
and tamas of 0is power (paramaatmasakti). >aramatmasakti is .aya. 1.A says
that !ivas, re#ardin# themselves to be different from 'swara (prerita, #et cau#ht
up in samsara and, blessed by 'swara, attain immortality throu#h 'swara. 1.C says
that !ivas are bound on account of the sense of en!oyership (bhoktrubhava.
Kaivalya 1) says +The !ivatma deluded by .aya, identifies with the body, does all
and actions-. Krishna /panishad talks of the world bein# deluded by .aya.
,wetasvatara '(.D also talks of !ivas bein# under the influence of .aya. (Gelusion
caused by .aya and the power of .aya which veils our &ramatvam is mentioned
in &ha#awad#ita B.K, B.1<, B.1K and B.)K.
1E. That .aya does not en!oy the same order of reality as &rahman we can infer from
certain /panishad mantras. The non4dual nature of >aramatma itself excludes
the existence of any other entity of the same order of reality. .aya is no
exception. &esides we have /panishad mantras which indicate the lower status of
.aya. :ollowin# the ,ankhya system, the first cate#ory in the order of the
evolution of the differentiated universe is called ?.ahat%. Katopanishad '.<.11
says, +,uperior to .ahatis 3vyaktam (i.e. .aya. ,uperior to 3vyaktam is
?>urusha% (i.e., the infinite, &rahman. There is nothin# superior to >urusha. 0e is
the ultimate and 0e is the supreme #oal.- .undaka /panishad '''.ii.C * +The
vidwaan (i.e., the one who has known himself to be &rahman, havin# become
freed from name and form, reaches the self4ful#ent >urusha (i.e. &rahman that
is superior to the superior.- 0ere,the second +superior- refers to .aya. .undaka
/panishad ''.i.) +>urusha (i.e., the infinite, &rahman is transcendental, because
't is formless, complete, coextensive with all that is external and internal,
birthless, without prana and without mind, pure and superior to the superior
aksahara ( imperishable.- (0ere also, the second +superior- called akshara
refers to .aya and &rahmanis said to be superior even to .aya. .aya is said to
be aksharam (imperishable because it is an endless cycle of pro!ection and
resolution of nama roopa and it is said to be superior because in its status as the
cause of the material universe, it is superior to the its effect, the pro!ected
universe. (The word ?akshara% (imperishable has different meanin#s in different
contexts. 'n .undaka /panishad passa#e +aksharaat paratah parah-, the word,
?aksharam% means .aya. 'n &rhadaranyaka <.C,1E and 11, the word, ?aksharam%
means nir#una &rahman. 'n &rahadaranyaka <.C.D, the word, aksharam means
The same kind of phrase +paraatpara- as a description of &rahman occurs
elsewhere. ,wetasvatara /panishad <.C and Kaivalya /panishad B and
,wetasvatara /panishad <.< stalk of &rahman as bein# beyond .aya
(tamasahparastaat. ,vetasvatara /panishad K.1. is a very clear enunciation of the
lower status of .aya. 't says that in the imperishable, infinite &rahman rest vidya
and avidya= vidya is imperishable (in the sense that once the coverin# of avidya is
overcome, vidya, the knowled#e of one%s nature of &rahman is indestructible=
avidya is perishable (in the sense that the avidya4coverin# is destroyed when one
#ains the knowled#e of !iva brahma aikyam= the one who rules over these (the
atma is different from the two..
(5n the macrocosmic scale, superimposed on the Ixistence4Fonsciousness4
'nfinity and endowed with the reflected consciousness the universal causal body
is called + 'swara-, the universal subtle body is called +0iranya#arbha-, and the
universal #ross body is called + (irat-. 5n the microcosmic scale, similarly
superimposed on the Ixistence4Fonsciousness4'nfinity and endowed with the
reflected consciousness, the individual causal body is called +praa!na- and it
experiences the deep sleep state, the individual subtle body is called +tai!asa- and
experiences the dream state and the individual #ross body is called +visva- and it
experiences the wakin# state.
Section 17 - 'ra$(an as 4onsciousness
#ll Perading and I((anent in 'eings as #t(a
1. 9e experience mind as a conscious entity entertainin# one thou#ht after
another. (arious /panishad passa#es teach us that, superior to the
mind, we have in us an unchan#in# consciousness, called atma or
pratya#atma or sakshi. 3part from the four famous mahavakyas, many
of them reiterate that the pratya#atma is none other than &rahman.
Thus, /panishads make it clear that there are not many atmas but there
is only one all pervadin#, divisionless, non4dual consciousness= it is this
consciousness that is available for reco#nitionby individual bein#s
throu#h observation of the functionin# of the mind. Kaivalya /panishad
1E * +Flearly reco#ni$in# 3tma to be present in all bein#s and clearly
reco#ni$in# all bein#s in oneself.......- 'savasya /panishad A * + 0e who
sees all bein#s as non4different from his 3tma and sees the 3tma of
those bein#s as his own 3tma....-Kaivalya /panishad 1A * +You alone
are that 'nfinite eternal supreme &rahman which is the 3tma of all.....-
Kaivalya /panishad 1B* +' am that &rahman which illumines the worlds
of wakin#, dream, sleep etc.- Kaivalya /panishad 1; refers to 2ivatma as
indivisible &liss4Fonsciousness (aanandam akhandabodham in whom
alone the three ?cities% #o into dissolution-. (?Three cities% refers to the
!a#rat prapanca, the swapna prapanca and the sushupti prapanca, i.e.,
the sthoola, sukshma, karana prapancas * this ne#ates the idea of
plurality of atmas. Taittiriya /panishad ''.1 and '.A, .undaka
/panishad '''.i.B, ,vetasvatara /panishad '''.11 and &rhadaranyaka
/panishad '.iv.B talk of &rahman as bein# available for reco#nition as
,akshi in the 2ivatma ( 4 interpretations based on ,ankaracarya%s
commentary 4 ( +yo veda nihitam #uhayam- + Tat srushtva tat eva
pravisat.-, +nihitam #uhayam- -sarva bhoota #uahasaya- +sa esha
pravishtah- . ,imilarexpressions occur in ,vetasvatara /panishad
mantras '''.B, '(.1K, '(.1A, '(.1B, ('.11, .undaka /panishad ''.i.1E,
Kaivalya /panishad )< etc. Kena /panishad1.A * +That which man does
not comprehend with the mind, that by which, they say, the mind is
encompassed, know that to be &rahman-. (9hat encompasses the mind
is the atma. ?That atma is &rahman% means that there is the only
common atma in all. ,vetasvatara '''.1D 4+Thou#h 't is devoid of hands
and le#s, 't #rasps everythin# and moves about everywhere. Thou#h 't is
devoid of eyes, 't sees everythin#. Thou#h 't is devoid of ears ,'t hears
everythin#. Thou#h 't is devoid of mind, 't knows everythin# but
nobody knows 't. The rishis call 't the :irst, the infinite and the
,upreme.- (This is a reference to &rahman as bein# the atma in all,
appearin# to see etc. when the cidabhasa is seein# etc.. .undaka
/panishad ''.ii.D 4 +'n the supreme bri#ht sheath i.e., in the
vi!nanamaya kosa, the intellect of individual bein#s, is &rahman, the
li#ht of li#hts (+!ytotisham !yoti-, free from taints and divisionless
(+vira!am, nishkalam- &rhadaranyaka /panishad '(.iii.B talks of the
infinite entity (>urusha as bein# in the midst of the or#ans as the self4
efful#ent li#ht within the heart. &rhadaranyaka /panishad '(.iii.<) *, the witness, without a second (the reference is to sakshi.
This is the sphere of &rahman.- Kathopanishad ''.ii.D, 1E, 11 and 1) talk
of 3tmaas bein# the one in all bein#s. Taittiriya ''.1.which is invoked as
1 * +,atyam 2nanam 3nantam &rahma= 0e who knows that &rahman as
hidden in the cavity that is the intellect...........- .undaka /panishad
''.i.1E 4+0e who knows this supremely immortal &rahman as hidden in
the cavity that is the intellect....- (&rahman is Ixistence4Fonsciousness4
'nfinity. 3s the eternal Ixistence formin# the substratum of nama roopa
* ,at * 't is reco#ni$able everywhere but as Fonsciousness4 cit * 't can
be appreciated only as the witness of the mind. .undaka /panishad
'''.i.B * +'t (&rahman is #reat (because of its all pervasiveness and
self4efful#ent6.. 't is further away than the far off. 't is near at hand in
this body. 3mon# sentient bein#s, it is perceived in the cavity of the
heart (.i.e. the intellect by the enli#htened-. +,wetasvatara /panishad
''.1K * +9hen one knows atmaas &rahman-. Kenopanishad '.). 4 +The
ear of the ear, the mind of the mind, the speech of the speech, the breath
of the breath, the eye of the eye.- Those who know this atma, after
#ivin# up identification with the sense or#ans and renouncin# this world
become immortal.- (+.ind of the mind- means that atma is different
from the mind and is superior to the mind. Kenopanishad 1.A * +That
which man does not comprehend with the mind, that, by which, they
say, the mind is comprehended, know that to be &rahman.- 3 very clear
support for the proposition that the ori#inal consciousness available in
2ivatmas is none other than the consciousness that is &rahman occurs
in Fhando#ya /panishad ('''.xii.<. 't says, +This tran"uil one, that is,
!ivatma, risin# up from this body (the reference is to videhamukti
becomes one with the ,upreme 8i#ht(i.e., &rahman and is established
in his own nature.- ( The words, + becomes one with the ,upreme li#ht-
and + is established in his own nature- clearly mean that the
consciousness constitutin# the essence of the individual !ivatmas called
3tma is the same as the all pervadin#, infinite consciousness called
&rahman. &rhadaranyaka /panishad '(.iv.1<4 (based on
,ankaracarya%s commentary- * +0e, the knower of &rahman, who has
reali$ed and intimately known the ,elf * 0ow@ * as the innermost ,elf
* as ?' am the supreme &rahman% that has entered this place (the body
66666all this is his 3tma and he is the 3tma of all6..- +'n 3iterya
/panishad mantra '''.1.), enumeratin# various functions of the mind, it
is said that all these are the names of Fonsciousness and '''. ). < says
that this atma is &rahman.
Section 11 - Re%lected 4onsciousness 84idab$asa/
11. 9hile the existence of a chan#in# conscious entity which we call the mind and an
unchan#in# conscious entity which is referred as the atma or >ratya#atma or
,akshi is a matter of personal experience, the fact that what there is in the mind
(antahkarana is the reflected consciousness is a matter of inference. ,ince
&rahma caitanyam is all pervadin#, the "uestion arises why is it that we
experience only our antahkarana as a conscious entity and our body and sense
or#ans as sentient and why thin#s we cate#ori$e as inanimate ob!ects are not
sentient. This disparity cannot be explained unless we predicate a reflected
consciousness and a special capacity, onaccount of its subtlety, on the part of
antahkarana to reflect consciousness and to impart it to the sense or#ans and the
body. 4 which capacity #rosser nama roopa like table etc do not possess. There are
variouspassa#es in the /panishads to show that the body mind complex by itself
is inert (bein# made of food * vide Fhando#ya /panishad ('.v.; and ('.vi.) and
it is the atma that lends sentience and consciousness to the body, sense or#ans
and the antahkarana. Ff. the portion in Taittiriya /panishad '''.B.i which says, +
6.&ecause if the space4like all pervadin# 6..&rahman was not there, who could
inhale and exhale@.....This one, this supreme atma which resides in the heart (i.e.,
in the mind, as the witness of all thou#hts blesses everyone with consciousness
and happiness.- Fommentin# on Kenopanishad '.i *(+Girected by whom does the
mind pervade the ob!ects@ Girected by whomdoes prana function@- and '.i 4
+6..the mind of the mind, the prana of the prana.6.-,,ankaracarya
says,-&ecause the antahkarana is not able to perform its functions * thinkin#,
determination etc. * unless it is illumined by the li#ht of consciousness.-.
,imilarly, in his commentary on Kena /panishad manta 1.A * +That which man
does snot comprehend with the mind, that by which, they say, the mind is
encompassed, know that to be &rahman-, he says, +The mind can think only
when it is illumined by the li#ht of the Fonsciousness-. . ,vetasvatara /panishad
('.11* +0idden in all bein#s is the non4dual Ifful#ent 5ne (&rahman. 't is all
pervadin#, is the real nature of all bein#s 6.'t resides in all bein#s. 't is the
witness of all. 't is what makes (the mind conscious. the lender of consciousness.
(+ceta- T cetayita. ,ankaracarya says, in his commentary on &rhadaranyaka
/panishad '''.iv.), +(Ya!navalkya addressin# /shasta ?you asked me to present
the 3tma as one would a !ar etc. ' do not do so, because it is impossible. 9hy is it
impossible@ 5win# to the very nature of the thin#. 9hat is that@ 'ts bein# the
witness of vision etc, for the atma is the witness of vision. (ision is of two kinds *
ordinary vision and real vision. 5rdinary vision is a function of the mind as
connected with the eye= it is an act and as such it has a be#innin# and an end. &ut
the vision that belon#s to the 3tma is like the heat of the fire= bein# 'ts very
nature, it has no be#innin# or end. &ecause it appears to be connected with the
ordinary vision, which is produced and is but a limitin# ad!unct of it, it is spoken
of as the witness, and also as differentiated into witness and vision. The ordinary
vision, however, is colored by the ob!ects seen throu#h the eye, and of course has
a be#innin#= it appears to be connected with the eternal vision of the 3tma and is
but its reflection= it ori#inates and ends, pervaded by the other. &ecause of this,
the eternal vision of the 3tma is metaphorically spoken of as the witness, and
althou#h eternally seein#, is spoken of as sometimes seein# and sometimes not
seein#. &ut as a matter of fact the vision of the 3tma never chan#es6.You cannot
know that that pervades knowled#e which is the mere function of the
intellect.%-.&rhadaranyaka /panishad'''.vii.)<* +........ .undaka /panishad
''.ii.1E and Kathopanishad ''.ii.1K * +There the sun does not shine, nor the moon
nor the stars, not to speak of li#htnin# or fire * (i.e., &rahma caitanyam as ,akshi
illumines the mind and sense or#ans by bein# the source of cidabhasa and
throu#h them the world. &ut nothin# in the world or the sense or#ans or the
mind can illumine 't, because they themselves are illumined by 't. The illumined
cannot illumine the illuminator. 't alone is theli#ht (i.e., 't alone is the
independent consciousness. 5ther li#hts come after 't. 't is by 'ts li#ht alone all
else shines. (i.e., 9hatever else is sentient or conscious is sentient only because it
reflects this real li#ht, that is, the ori#inal consciousness. .ind is conscious only
because the ori#inal consciousness is reflected in it. Kathopanishad ''.ii.1< talks
of atma as the conscious amon# the conscious. ,ankaracarya explains, in his
&hashyam that the words, +amon# the conscious- refers to the manifesters of
consciousness, such as the livin# creatures be#innin# with 0iranya#arbha and
adds +!ust as it is owin# to the fire that water etc. that are not fire come to be
possessed of the power to burn, similarly, the power to manifest consciousness
that is seen in others is owin# to the consciousness that is the 3tma-.
&rhadaranyaka /panishad ''.v.1D * +0e transformed 0imself in accordance with
each form= that form of 0is is for the sake of makin# 0imself known. (+oopam
roopam pratiroopo babhoova! tadasya roopam praticakshanaaya-
( ,ankaracarya%s commentary * +The same 8ord, in the process of manifestin#
name and form, ?transformed 0imself in accordance with each form%. 9hy did 0e
come in so many forms@ ?That form of 0is was for the sake of makin# 0imself
known% 9ere name and form not manifested the transcendent nature of this
atma as undifferentiated Fonsciousness would not be known. 9hen, however,
name and form are manifested as the body and instruments of knowled#e, it is
possible to know this nature of the atma.- Kathopanishad ''.ii.D and 1E,#ivin#
the example of the shapeless fire principle assumin# the shape of the different
lo#s of woodthat are bein# burnt and the air assumin# separate forms in
accordance with different shapes of different ob!ects, the atma, thou#h the same
in all bein#s, assumes different forms in accordance with each shape (i.e. the
different character of different body4mind complexes (roopam roopam
pratiroopah.. The division is not in the ori#inal consciousness, but the
antahkaranas, the reflectin# media, bein# many, the reflections are also many.
&rahadaranyaka ''.v.1D * +>aramatma assumes manifold forms on account of
.aya- (+(ndro mayaabhih pururoopa iiyate". 0ere, the word, ?.aya% means
cidabhasa. 'n each intellect, there is reflected consciousness. 3nd, throu#h the
many reflected consciousnesses, atma appears to be many. &rhadaranyaka
'(.iii.B(+%9hich is the atma@%. ?This infinite entity (>urusha that is identified with
the intellect and is in the midst of the or#ans, the li#ht within the heart,
hrdayantarjyotih. 3ssumin# the likeness * i.e., the likeness of the intellect, it
moves between two worlds= it thinks, as it were, and shakes, as it were%-. within
the intellect-, 'n his commentary, +..%vijnanamaya%, identified with the intellect=
atma is so called because of our failure to discriminate its association with its
limitin# ad!unct (upadhi, the intellect, for it is perceived as associated with the
intellect6.. ?9ithin the heart%=6.heart, here, means the intellect, which has its
seat in the heart66The word, ?within% indicates that the atma is different from
the modifications of the intellect. 3tma is called li#ht, because it is self4efful#ent,
for, throu#h this li#ht, the self4efful#ent atma, this a##re#ate of body and or#ans
* i.e., the body4mind complex 4 efful#ence of 3tma that the body mind complex
#oes out and works, as if it were sentient, like the shinin# of a !ar placed in the
sun .5r likean emerald or any other #em dropped into milk etc imparts its lustre
(efful#ence to the milk etc., so does the efful#ent atma6.. imparts its lustre to the
body and or#ans, includin# the intellect. 6..The intellect bein# clear (svacca and
close to the atma, easily catches the reflection of the comes the
manas which catches the reflection of the atma throu#h the intellect= and lastly
the body throu#h the or#ans-. 6...That is why, dependin# on the de#ree of
discrimination, each one identifies himself with one or other component of the
body mind complex66%'t thinks as it were%= &y illuminin# the intellect, which
does the thinkin#, atma, throu#h its self4efful#ent li#ht that pervades the
intellect6..seems to think. 660ence the people think that the atma thinks but
really it does not.- Fhando#ya /panishad ('.iii.) * +That Geity (which is the non4
dual Ixistence * &rahman 4 envisioned, +8et it be now, by enterin# into these
three Hods, in the form of the !ivatma of each individual bein#6..- ,ankaracarya,
in his &hashyam, explains, +each !ivatma is merely the manifestation of the Geity
(&rahma caitanyam.. 't arises from the ?contact% of the Geity with the subtle
elements like the intellect etc. 't is like the reflection of a person, seemin# to have
entered into a mirror and like the reflection of the sun in water, etc. This becomes
the cause of multifarious ideas, such as, ?' am happy%, ?' am sorrowful%, ?' am
i#norant% etc., owin# to the non4reali$ation of the true nature of the Geity. ,ince
the Geity has entered merely as a reflection in the form of a !ivatma, 't does not
itself become connected withhappiness, sorrow etc. 3s a person, the sun, and
others enter into a mirror, water etc. merely throu#h their reflections, are not
touched by the defects of the mirror, water etc.- 'n his commentary on
&rhadaranyaka /panishad 1.;.B which talks of the atma enterin# into the created
bodies, ,ankaracarya, in his commentary poses an ob!ection, +,ince the ob!ects
that have been entered into are sub!ect to transmi#ration, and the ,upreme ,elf is
identical with them, 't too comes under transmi#ration. 't will also be sub!ect to
samsara that we experience-. To this, ,ankaracarya answers, +the consciousness
that experiences samsara is not that of &rahman 'tself. 8ike the reflection of sun
in water, the consciousness that is involved in such perceptions as one is happy or
miserable is only the reflection of &rahman in the limitin# ad!uncts (upadhis like
the intellect-. &rhadaranyaka ;.<.Bsays *+0e thinks, as it were= 0e shakes, as it
were.- (This means that the ori#inal consciousness does not itself think, but when
the mind thinks, it appears to think. .ind, bein# inert, cannot think, by itself. ,o,
here also, association of the ori#inal consciousness with the mind is envisa#ed in
the form of a reflection. 'n his commentary on &rhadaranyaka ).1.1D, which
deals with sushupti, ,ankaracarya says, +The atma caitanyam (vijnaanamaya
atma pervades the intellect with a reflection of its own consciousness66..'t
follows the nature of its limitin# ad!unct, the intellect, !ust as a reflection of the
moon etc, follows the nature of water and so forth.-
1. Yet another important mantra which establishes clearly that there is in
the body mind complex a consciousness which is different from &rahma
caitanyam is &rhadaranyaka /panishad mantra ''.iv.1) (clarification in
mantra 1< where the phrase +na pretya sam!na asti- (+there is no lon#er
any consciousness- occurs. 'n this mantra, in the Ya!navalkya .aitreyi
dialo#ue, Ya!navalkya #ives the example of salt water and salt crystals
formed out of it. 3tma, the ori#inal, all pervadin# consciousness is
compared to salt water or the ocean. 0ere, there is no plurality or
individuality= the ori#inal consciousness is divisionless=bein# all
pervadin#, it is also available in the !ivatmas. &ut parts of the salt water
can become crystalli$ed on account of heat, and thus ac"uire
individuality. 8ike that, on account of the presence of the body mind
complex, which is compared to the heat, the divisionless consciousness
#ets reflected in the mind and thus, with a separate reflected
consciousness * a particular consciousness 4 in each mind, havin# an
individuality of its own, emer#es. Thus there is a plurality of ahamkaras,
experiencin# the world in diverse ways. 9hen the salt crystals are put
back in the water, salt a#ain becomes homo#enous (divisionless. 8ike
that, when the !nani%s sthoola sarira dies and sukshma sarira and karana
sarira disinte#rate at the time of videhamukti, the particular
consciousnessperishes. .The words are, ?there is no lon#er
consciousness% (+na pretya sam!na asti-. These words cannot refer to
atma caitanyam (brahma caitanyam, because it is eternal= what the
!nani attains at the time of videhamukti is oneness with &rahma
caitanyam. ,o, there is no "uestion of the &rahma caitanyam ceasin# to
be. 9hat ceases, in videhamukti, is the sukshma sarira which includes
the ahamkara comprisin# the antahkarana and the reflected
consciousness. 't is the ahamkara which is referred as ceasin# to be, in
videhamukti, when the mantra says +na pretya sam!na asti-. Therefore
the cessation of consciousness that is mentioned in the mantra can only
refer to the reflected consciousness, the cidabhasa in the antahkarana
with which the !ivanmukta was carryin# on the day to day activities until
the fall of the sthoola sarira.
Section 12 - Signi%icance o% 4idab$asa
1. 3nother "uestion that arises is that if &rahma caitanyam is all
pervadin#, how is it that ' do not know want you are thinkin# and ' do
not see the movie you are seein#. The answer is that for knowin#
anythin# as an ob!ect or idea, two thin#s are re"uired. (i there must be
a second entity other than the knower and (ii a focusin# on or exclusive
pervasion of a sin#le ob!ect or idea at a time by the consciousness
involvin# modification of the consciousness from one confi#uration to
another, correspondin# to the ob!ects or ideas comin# one after another.
&rahman, bein# non4dual, there is no second entity that 't can know.
Iven if 't is taken as the knower, since 't is all pervadin# (sarva#atah,
divisionless (nirvikalpa and chan#eless (nirvikara, &rahma caitanyam
cannot arise as one flash after another to focus on or pervade one
particular ob!ect to become a particular confi#uration after another
correspondin# to the particular ob!ects. Givision and differentiation in
the form of a separate reflected consciousness in each antahkarana *
multiple secondary consciousnesses as abhasa vada would have it 4 or
conditionin# by the individual intellects as avacceda vada would have it
or the false notion of reflection in the multiple modes of .aya, the
intellects, as pratibimba vada would have it, is necessary for multiple
knower *consciousnesses to be formed. ,ince my knower4consciousness
is confined to my intellect and yours to you, ' do not know what you are
thinkin# and you do not know what ' am thinkin#. That is why, when
the teacher shows the sushupti as an example for us to understand the
state of mukti,&rhadaranyaka '(.iii.<E, says, +There is not that second
thin# separate from it that 't can know.- 3nd, describin# videhamukti,
when the !nani%s sukshma sarira and karana sarira themselves have
disinte#rated * talkin# of the paramarthika plane where there is nothin#
other than &rahman, &rhadaranyaka /panishad ''.iv.1; says +9hat can
one see throu#h what@- Fhando#ya B.);.1 * +The 'nfinite is that where
one does not see anythin# else, does not hear anythin# else, does not
know anythin# else.- :or &rahman, there is not even knowin#
transaction (Ff. .andukya /panishad mantra B * +avyavaharyam-.
The vyavaharika prapanca exists only for the vyavaharika !ivas. The
!nanis amon# them see it as mithya and the a!nanis see it as real. 't is
the different minds in different individuals that enable each of us to
perceive and think separately about separate thin#s. 'f a stone is thrown
into a pool of water where sun is reflected, that reflection alone is
disturbed, not the reflection in other pools. (). 9hen we refer to
&rahman as ,akshi, we are not dilutin# this proposition in any way.
There, we are only reiteratin# the eternal presence of the all pervadin#
consciousness, with emphasis on 'ts availability in the individual bein#s.
The knowin# of ob!ects and ideas occurs, not at the paramarthika level,
but at the lower order of reality, the vyavaharika level. 3t the
vyavaharika level, there is a multiplicity of names and forms and there is
division of knower, known and knowin# instrument. The presence of
,akshi serves as the source for the antahkarana to obtain a reflected
consciousness. The antahkaranas with their cidabhasas are multiple=
each individual bein# has its own separate antahkarana with cidabhasa
in it. Iach antahkarana with cidabhasa in it (called ahamkara focuses
on a particular ob!ect or idea, separately, and, havin# the capacity to
under#o modification, assumes one confi#uration after another,
correspondin# to the ob!ects and ideas comin# one after another. This is
what is said in the first portion of &rhadaranyaka mantra ''.ii.1;.
Talkin# of mithya dwaitam, 4 knower, known and knowin# instrument *
it says, +when there is duality (dwaitam, as it were, (the words, ?as it
were% are si#nificant, because they are the authority for sayin# that the
division of knower, known and knowin# instrument is unreal * mithya
4 one sees another66. one knows another.- 'f the knowin#
consciousness was not in the form of separate individual
consciousnesses, and if there was only the ori#inal consciousness
common to all, the ob!ects of the world would all enter the common
consciousness, in one !umbled confusion * confusion, space4wise and
time4wise. :or example, you may see the #arba#e bein# dumped in the
street in the food you are about to take. You may see a #randfather who
died lon# a#o holdin# the new4born #randson * and so on.
Section 1" - 'ra$(an as 'liss
1). &rahman is described as ,at Fit 3nanda. 3ananda is translated in In#lish as
&liss. &ut the word ananda used to define &rahman%s nature, does not refer to
experiential happiness. 't should be e"uated with anantatvam i.e. infinitude *
infinitude not only space wise, but time wise and entity4wise * indicated by the
word +anantam% occurrin# in the Taittiriya /panishad mantra ''.i * + ,atyam
2nanam 3nantam &rahma-. This anantatvam (or poornatvam is reflected in the
pure, calm mind of a 2nani who has identified himself with the infinite &rahman.
0avin# identified himself with &rahman, the infinitude, he can have the sense
that he is the infinitude, which is also a sense of utter fulfillment. ,uch a sense,
we can say, is supreme happiness. 9e have to distin#uish between +swaroopa
ananda-, ananda as the nature of &rahman and +kosa ananda-. Kosa ananda is, as
a sense of fulfillment caused by the reflection of the anantatvam aspect of
&rahman. 't is experienced by all of us when our mind is calm at the interval
between the attainment of a desired ob!ect and the arisin# of another desire. The
ananda experienced by a !nani is unconditional happiness. i.e., it is not
dependent on contact with ob!ects and it has no #radation.= happiness
experienced by others is conditional and #raded. The word ananda denotin# the
infinitude of &rahman is used as such in some places in the /panishads.*
&rhadaranyaka /panishad '''.ix.)C (B *+vi!naaanam aanandam &rahma
....paraayanam tishtam aanasya tat vida% (+Knowled#e, &liss, and &rahman
......the supreme #oal of him who has reali$ed &rahman and is established in 't.-4
Taittiriya /panishad ).;1, ).D1 * +6..if one knows the bliss that is &rahman
(aanandam brahmano vidwaan Taittiriya /panishad '''.vi.1 * +aananda
brahma iti vi!anaat- (+0e knew &liss as &rahman-. Taittiriya /panishad ''.v.1*
+ananda atma- (+&liss is 3tma- ,i.e., &rahman Taittiriya /panishad ''.vii * + ko
hi eva anyaat kah pranyaat yat esha aakaasa (&rahman aananda na syaat- (+9ho
indeed will inhale, who will exhale, if this &liss be not there in the supreme space
within the heart 4 Taittiriya /panishad''.iv.1 and ''.ix.1 * +anandam bramano
vidwaan na vibheti kadacaneti (kudascanetiR- (+The enli#htened man is not
afraid of anythin# after reali$in# that &liss that is &rahman- Fhando#ya
(''.xxiii.1 +yo vai bhooma tat sukham- (+ The 'nfinite alone is &liss-. *
&rhadaranyaka '(.iii.<) +Isha brahmalokah....esha asya parama aanandah. Ita
anandasya anya bhootani maatram upa!ivati- (+This is the state of
&rahman....This is 'ts supreme bliss. 5n a particle of this very bliss other bein#s
live.- Kathopanishad ''.ii.1; refers to &rahman as supreme bliss (+paramam
sukham.-. Kaivalya /panishad A refers to &rahman as consciousness and bliss
(+cidaandam +.
1. The ananda, the experiential happiness which a 2nani derives from his
sense of utter fulfillment or desirelessness (the state of bein# without
any desire is brou#ht out in certain places in the /panishads. 'n the
+3nanda mimamsa- portion in Taittiriya /panishad (Fhapter '', (alli ),
anuvaka C and in &rhadaranyaka /panishad mantra '(.iii.<<,it is
e"uated with the absence of desire for the happiness available in the
plane of 0iranya#arbha,which is the hi#hest planeof the vyavaharika
satyam. 9hen no ob!ect is desired, the mind is calm and "uiet= not
lackin# anythin#, there is a sense of fulfillment. 0 ere there is absence of
desire for the hi#hest attainable world. ,o, the sense of fulfillment must
be the most intense. 'n Taittiriya /panishad Fhapter ), (alli ), anuvaka
B, the name for &rahman is + rasah-. +1asah-, in ,anskrit, in such
contexts is the synonym for ananda. The mantra says, +The 5ne
described as ,elf Freated (i.e. /nborn in the previous mantra, is indeed
rasah (ananda swaroopam. 3ttainin# that rasah (identifyin# himself
with that ananda, the &rahmanthe !ivatma becomes anandi (en!oys
supreme happiness. /ninterrupted ananda is obtained by the
knowled#e ?' am the infinite &rahman%.
). The lo#ic of sayin# that &rahman%s nature is ananda is contained in
&rhadaranyaka /panishad in the second chapter, fourth section, fifth
.antra. 0ere, Ya!navalkya tells .aitreyi, his wife (who is such anexpert
in (edic lore that she carries on a lon# and wonderful debate with her
husband who is a 2nani +(erily the husband is dear (to the wife not for
the sake of the husband, my dear, but it is for her own sake that he is
dear. (erily the wife is dear (to the husband not for the sake of the wife,
my dear, but it is for his own sake that she is dear. (erily sons are dear
(to parents not for the sake of the sons, my dear, but it is for the sake of
the parents themselves that they are dear. (erily wealth is dear not for
the sake of wealth, my dear, but it is for one%s own sake that it is dear.
66..verily worlds are dear not for the sake of the worlds, my dear, but it
is for one%s own sake. (erily #ods are dearnot for the sake of #ods, my
dear, but it is for one%s own sake that they are dear. (erily bein#s are
dear not for the sake of bein#s, my dear, but it is for one%s own sake that
they are dear. (erily all is dear not for the sake of all, my dear, but it is
for one%s own sake that all is dear666- The ar#ument is that everyone
ultimately loves only oneself and all other love is only because it
subserves the primary love of oneself. 3nd one loves only that which is a
source of happiness. ,o, it is conclude that 3tma is the source of
happiness and, therefore the nature of 3tma is ananda.
1<. 'n his commentary on &rhadaranyaka '''.ix.)C (B, ,ankaracarya discusses
whether the bliss (ananda of &rahman mentioned in ,ruti passa#es * such as
&rhadaranyaka '(.ix.)C (B Taittiriya '''.A, Taittiriya ''. B, Fhando#ya (''.xxiii.1,
'(.iii.)) is an ob!ect of co#nition. The word, ?ananda% is commonly used to refer
to pleasure that is co#ni$ed. 3nd the passa#es cited above would (seem to fit in if
the bliss that is &rahman is an ob!ect of co#nition. &ut, since ne#ation of knowin#
when there is oneness, such as in &rhadaranyaka ''.vi.1;, ''.v.1K * +&ut when to
the knower of &rahman everythin# has become the atma, then what should one
see and throu#h what@-, Fhando#ya ('.xxiv.1 * +9here one sees nothin# else,
hears nothin# else, knows nothin# else, that is the infinite-6we have to discuss in
order to ascertain the true meanin# of the ananda passa#es. The discussion
between the opponent, an intermediary and the 3dvaitin proceeds. 3dvaitin says,
+3bsolute separation from body is liberation, and when there is no body, there
can be no or#ans6..there will be no knowled#e, there bein# no body and
or#ans6.' it is said that , bein# of the nature of eternal knowled#e4bliss, &rahman
co#ni$es his own nature as bliss eternally, that is not possible. &ecause, if that is
so, a videhamukta would also co#ni$e bliss. &ut the man under bonda#e, when
freed from relative existence, would re#ain his real nature as &rahman. 0e is like
a handful of water thrown into a tank. 0e does not retain a separate existence so
as to know the blissful &rahman. 0ence to say that the videhamukta knows the
blissful atma is meanin#less. 'f, on the other hand, if it is said that the
videhamukta, standin# different from &rahman knows the bliss of &rahman and
the pratya#atma as ?' am ananda4swaroopam%, that will contradict the oneness of
&rahman and #o a#ainst all sruti passa#es. There is no third possibility. 'f it is
said that &rahman ever knows 'ts own bliss, then it is superfluous to distin#uish
between awareness and non4awareness. 'f 't is constantly aware of 'ts bliss, then
that is its nature= hence there is no sense in maintainin# that it co#ni$es 'ts own
bliss. 666.Therefore, the text ?Knowled#e &liss &rahman% (vi!naanam
aanandam brahma% must be interpreted as settin# forth the nature of &rahman
(&rahman%s swaroopam and not si#nifyin# that the atmaananda is co#ni$ed.- ('n
other words, experiential pleasure which is an ob!ect of experience and is sub!ect
to #radation and arrival and departure is opposed to the aprameyatvam,
nirvikaratvam and nityatvam of &rahman. The word ?ananda% should therefore be
translated as ?anantam%, infinitude.
Section 1& - 'ene%it o% Identi%ication -it$ 'ra$(an
1. 3ll over the /panishads, we #et statements mentionin# the benefit of
the knowin#, +' am &rahman-. (,ome of the statements have been
paraphrased, in the li#ht of,ankaracarya%s commentaries. Fhando#ya
/panishad (''. 1. iii * +' have heard from masters like you that he who
knows the &rahman transcends sorrow.- Taittiriya /panishad ''.i.1 +The
knower of &rahman attains &rahman. (+&rahmavid apnoti param-.
.undaka /panishad '''.).ix * +3nyone who knows that supreme
&rahman becomes &rahman indeed.O 6.0eovercomes #rief, rises above
punya papa= and becomin# freed from the knots of the heart (i.e.,
overcomin# self4i#norance, he attains immortality.- Kathopanishad
''.ii.1) * +Iternal peace consistin# in the blissfulness of the ,elf is for
those who reco#ni$e the 5ne Hod (>aramatma who, because of his
inscrutable power makes by 0is mere existence one form, 0is own ,elf
that is homo#enous and consists of unalloyed consciousness diverse
throu#h the differences in the impure conditions of name and form and
who reco#ni$e 0im as residin# in the space of the heart within the body,
i.e., as manifested as knowled#e in the intellect, like a face appearin# to
exist in a mirrorand have identified with >armatma., not for others-.
Kathopanishad ''.ii.1< * +To those who reco#ni$e the >aramatma in
their hearts, the eternal amon# the ephemeral, the indestructible
consciousness amon# the destructible manifesters of consciousness
such as the livin# creatures be#innin# with 0iranya#arbha accrues
eternal peace that is their very ,elf, not for others. Kathopanishad
'.iii.1K * +5ne becomes freed from the !aws of death by knowin# That
(i.e., &rahnan which is soundless, colorless,undiminishin#, and also
tasteless, eternal, odorless, without be#innin#, and without end, distinct
from .ahat, and ever constant.- Taittiriya /panishad ''.vii * +whenever
an aspirant #etsestablished in this unperceivable, bodiless,
inexpressible, and unsupported &rahman, he reaches the state of
fearlessness.- ,vetasvatara /panishad ''.1;. *+Knowin# the 3tma, one
becomes non4dual, fulfilled and free of sorrow.- ,wesvatara /panishad
''.1K * +when one knows &rahman as 3tma, i.e., knows +' am &rahman-
(+the ori#inal consciousness in me is the infinite &rahman-, the
&rahman which is unborn, whose nature is immutable, which is
unaffected by avidya and its products and which is efful#ent, one
becomes freed from all bonds.- ,wesvatara /panishad '''.B * +Knowin#
that &rahman that is beyond the universe and 0iranya#arbha and is
infinite, that is the indweller of all bein#s, that encompasses the
universe, men become immortal.- &rhadaranyaka /panishad '(.iv.)<
4+This (&rahman described as ?not this, not this% is the eternal #lory of a
knower of &rahman. 't neither increases nor decreases throu#h work=
therefore one should know the nature of that alone. Knowin# it one is
not touched by evil action. Therefore he who knows it as such becomes
self4controlled, calm, withdrawn into himself, endurin# and
concentrated and sees the 3tma in his own body= he sees all as the
3tma. >apa does not overtake him, but he transcends all papa. >apa
does not trouble him but he consumes all papas. 0e becomes free of
papa, taintless, free from doubts and a &rahmana, i.e., knower of
&rahman.- ,wesvatara /panishad '(.1B 4 +&enefited by the teachin#
that ne#ates the universe anddiscriminates between atma and anatma
and reveals the unity of 2ivatma and &rahman, he who knows that
&rahman becomes immortal.- Taittiriya /panishad ''.ix.1 4 +0e who
knows ananda that is &rahman has no fear.- U Taittiriya /panishad
''.1.i* +&rahman is Ixistence4Fonsciousness4'nfinity= he who knows
that &rahman as existin# in the cave4like space of the heart ('Se., mind
(i.e., as the consciousness behind one%s own mind and thus havin#
identified himself with that infinite &rahman, en!oys, simultaneously,
all the desirable thin#s.- Fhando#ya /panishad (''.xxiv.) * +The atma
is indeed below, the atma is above, the atma is behind, the atma is in the
south, the atma is in the north, the atma indeed is all this. 3nyone who
sees thus, reflects thus, understands thus, revels in the atma, disports in
the atma, has union in the atma, and has !oy in the atma. 0e becomes a
soverei#n. 0e has freedom of movement in all the worlds% (+6, Ivam
pasyan evam manvaana evam vi!aanan aatmaratih aatamakridah
aatmamithunah aatmaanandah sa swaraat bhavati tasya sarvaeshu
lokeshu kaamacaarah bhavati-. .undaka '''.i.< * +9hen the seeker
reco#ni$es the efful#ent ,akshi as the all pervadin# &rahman, who, in
the form of 'swara, is the creator of the universe, becomes free from
punya papa, becomes taintless and attains total identity with &rahman.-
.undaka /panishad ''.i.1E * +0e who knows this supremely immortal
&rahman as existin# in the heart destroys, here, the knot of i#norance.-
&rhadaranyaka /panishad '(.iii.)1 * +That is his form (The identity
with all is his form= it is the form of atma in which all ob!ects of desire
have been attained= hence there is no desire. Gesireless, he abides in the
atma.- (+Tat vaa asya etat aaptakaamam aatmakaamam akaamam
roopam.- &rhadaranyaka /panishad '(.iv.1) * +'f a man knows 3tma
(&rahman as +' am this- then desirin# what and for whose sake will be
suffer when the body is afflicted@- ,ankaracarya%s commentary * +'f a
man.....knows the atma which is his own atma as well as the >aramatma
* knows how@ * as ?' am this >aramatma%, the sakshi of perceptions of
all bein#s, which has been described as ?not this, not this% and so on,
than which there is no seer.........knower and is in all bein#s, and which
is by nature eternal, pure consciousness and free, desirin# what other
thin#, of the nature of a result, distinct from his own ,elf and for whose
sake, i.e., for the need of what other person distinct from himself ,
because he as the atma has nothin# to wish for, and there is none other
than himself for whose sake he may wish it, he bein# the atma of all,
therefore desirin# what and for whose sake will he suffer in the wake of
the body * deviate from his own nature, or become miserable, followin#
the misery created by his limitin# ad!unct, the body, i.e., imbibe the
afflictions of the body@ :or, this is possible for the man who identifies
himself with anatma (that which is not atma, i.e. the body mind
complex and desires thin#s other than atma and stru##les and desires
somethin# for himself, somethin# else for his son, and a third thin# for
his wife and so on, #oes round the births and deaths and is
diseasedwhen his body is diseased. &ur all this is impossible for the man
who sees everythin# as his atma.- Kathopanishad ''.ii.11 * + 2ust as the
sun which is the eye of the world is not tainted by the ocular and
external defects, similarly the 3tma that is one in all bein#s is not
tainted by the sorrows of the world, it bein# transcendental.-
,ankaracarya%s commentary * +>eople, after havin# superimposed on
the ,elf (the atma the false notions (adhyaasa of action, a#ent, and the
results of action, like the snake falsely perceived on the rope, experience
the misery of birth, death etc. conse"uent on that superimposition= but
the atma, thou#h it is the ,elf (atma of all, is not tainted by the sorrow
of the world arisin# from false superimposition. 9hy@ (&ecause 't is
outside, i.e., !ust like the rope vis a vis the snake, it is extraneous to the
superimposition of false notion. >rasna /panishad '(.1E * +0e who
reali$es that shadowless, pure, immutable attains the supreme
immutable itself.- Kaivalya D *+0e alone is everythin# which was in the
past , which is in the present and which will be in the future and 0e
alone is eternal. 0avin# reco#nised 0im, one crosses immortality. There
is no other means for liberation.- Kaivalya /panishad 1E 4 +Flearly
reco#ni$in# oneself to be present in all bein#s and clearly reco#ni$in# all
bein#s in oneself, the seeker attains the supreme &rahman= not by any
other means-. (+,arva bhotastam atmaanam sarva bhootani ca aatmani
sampasyan brahma paramam yaati na anyena hetuna-. Kaivalya
/panishad )< * +1eco#ni$in# the paramatma for which there is no
earth, no water, no fire, no air, no akasa, which is in the cavity of the
heart of bein#s, which is divisionless, and non4dual, which is thee
witness of all, and which is beyond the manifested and the
unmanifested , one attains that pure paramatma. &rhadaranyaka
/panishad '.iv.) * +:rom a second entity only fear arises.- (The #ist is
that the !naani has the advanta#e of fearlessness, in that nothin# in the
world which is mithya can disturb him who is the satya atma.
Section 1+ - 'ene%it o% 9no-ing *$at I #( #ll
1. 3s explained earlier, ,arvatmabhava (the sense that ' am all is without
pre!udice to the knowled#e, +&rahmasatyam !a#anmithya- 9hereas
asan#atvam (the sense that ' am satyam &rahman, the world is mithya=
the mithya world cannot affect me is paramarthika drshti,
sarvatmabhava is a vyavaharika drshti= it is a positive perspective of the
all pervadin# aspect of &rahman... 'savasya /panishad A * +0e who
sees all bein#s in the atma and the atma in all bein#s feels no hatred.-
(+yastu sarvaani bhootani atmani eva anupasyanti sarvabhooteshu ca
atmaanam tato na vi!u#upsate-. ?,eein# all bein#s in the atma% refers to
the nama roopa and ?seein# atma in all bein#s ?refers to the
adhishtanam, &rahman. n this connection, we can usefully refer to
&rhadaranyaka /panishad ''.;.vi. +The &rahmana re!ects him who
knows the &rahmana to be different from the ,elf. The Kshatriya re!ects
him who knows the Kshatriya to be different from the ,elf. 9orlds
re!ect him who knows the worlds to be different from the ,elf. The #ods
re!ect him who knows the #ods to be different from the ,elf.
&ein#sre!ect him who knows bein#s to be different from the ,elf. 3ll
re!ect him who knows all to be different from the ,elf. This &rahmana,
this Kshatriya, these worlds, these #ods, these bein#s and this all are
only the ,elf (one%s own atma- &rhadaranyaka ''.iv.A * +5ne who views
&rahman as if havin# diversity in 't #oes from death to death.-
Section 1. - 9ar(a is not t$e 5eans o% :iberation
9no-ledge o% Identity -it$ 'ra$(an is *$e Only 5eans o% :iberation;
1;. /panishad statements that knowled#e, not karma, is the means of liberation are
are as followsJ 4 Kaivalya /panishad < * +'t is throu#h renunciation that a few
seekers have attained immortality * not throu#h rituals, not throu#h pro#eny,
not throu#h wealth.....- (+ na karmana na pra!ayaa na dhanena tya#anaike
amrutatvamaanasuh-. .undaka /panishad '.). B +....'ndeed those who consider
karma to be a means for moksha are fools. They enter old a#e and death a#ain
and a#ain.- .undakopanishad'.D * +.....These ritualists do not know the #lory of
moksha due to their attachment. Fonse"uently these wretched ones fall down
when the >unya is exhausted.- &rhadaranyaka /panishad '''.viii.1E * + 0e...who
in this world, without knowin# this 'mmutable, offers oblations in the fire,
performs sacrifices and under#oes austerities even for many thousand years,
finds all such acts but perishable= he, 5 Har#i, who departs from this world
without knowin# this 'mmutable, is miserable. &ut he, 5 Har#i, who departs from
this world after knowin# this 'mmutable, is a knower of &rahman-. The same
idea is expressed indifferent words in &rhadaranyaka /panishad '.iv.1E *
+9hoever in like manner knows 't as, ?' am &rahman%, he becomes all this. Iven
the #ods cannot prevail a#ainst him, for he becomes their self. 9hereas he who
worships another #od thinkin#, ?0e is one, and ' am another does not know. 0e is
like an animal to the #ods.- Kenopanishad ''.; * +Throu#h knowled#e is attained
immortality- +(...vidyayaa vindate amrutam-. &rhadaranyaka '(.iv.1; * +Those
who know 't become immortal- 3lso cf. Nrsimhapurvatapani /panishad '.A. Ff.
&rhadaranyaka /panishad '(.iv.1D * +&rahman has to be reco#nised by the mind
alone. (+manasaa eva anudrashtavyah-. Kathopanishad ''.i.11 * +This is to be
attained by the mind alone. +Taittiriya /panishad ''.).1 * +The knower of
&rahman attains &rahman- (+&rahmavid apnoti param- +The knower of
&rahmanbecomes immortal.- Kathopanishad ''.iii.C * +,uperior to the
/nmanifested (.aya is the 'nfinite who is......without worldly attributes,
knowin# 9hom a man becomes freed and attains immortality.- (+....Yam !naatva
mucyate !antuh...-. &rhadaranyaka /panishad '(.iv.B *+....that very 3tma '
re#ard as &rahman. Knowin# &rahman, ' am immortal.- (+Tam eva manya
aatmanam vidwaan brahma amrutah amrutam. &rahadaranyaka '(.iv.1; *
+Those who know 't become immortal-. .undaka '''.ii.D * +3nyone who knows
that supreme &rahman becomes immortal-. ,wesvatara /panishad ).1K says that
the knower of &rahman is released from bonda#e. >rasna /panishad '(.1E * +0e
who knows that shadowledss, bodiless, pure, immutable attains that supreme
'mmutable itself- >rasna ('.A * +You should now that >urusha (the infinite who
is worthy to be known 66..-Kena ''.K * +The wise ones, havin# known
(&rahman to be in all bein#s 6.become immortal-. ,wetasvatara '.11 * +Knowin#
&rahman, one from the cycle of births and deaths.- The same
mantra talks of the result of meditation, as distin#uished from knowled#e, as the
means of kramamukti. ,wetasvatara /panishad '''.B * +That to which there is
nothin# superior, which is not limited, which is in every !iva conformin# to the
body of that !iva, which is non4dual, which encompasses the universe, knowin#
that parabrahman one becomes immortal-. ,wetasvatara /panishad '''.C and
('.1K4 + Knowin# that >aramatma that is >ratya#atma, ,akshi, that is the infinite,
that is all pervadin#, that is become immortal. :or attainin#
this &rahman, there is no other means- ( anya panthaa vidyate
ayanaaya.-. Kaivalya /panishadD 4 +0e alone is everythin# which is in the past,
which is in the present and which will be in the future. 0avin# known 0im one
crosses mortality. There is no other means for liberation.- (+..... na anya panthaa
vimuktaye-. ,wetasvatara /panishad (i.1K4 +666Knowin# That one becomes
immortal. :or moksha, there is no other means (Tameva viditvaa atimrtyumeti=
naanyah panthaaa vidyate ayanaaya. +Kaivalya /panishad 1E * +Flearly
reco#ni$in# oneself to be present in all bein#s and clearly reco#ni$in# all bein#s in
oneself, the seeker attains the ,upreme &rahman, not by any other means-.
( anyena hetuna-..Karma and /pasana involves the attitude that &rahman
is different from oneself (dwaita bhaava. &rhadaranyaka '.iv.1E says ?0e who
thinks that &rahman is one and he is another does not know.-
1. .any philosophers, includin# even some exponents of 3dvaita (edanta
and yo#a sastra talk of an accomplishment beyond knowled#e or a
mystic experience or nirvikalpa samadhi in which the mind is stilled
(manonaasa takes place as the ultimate means to reali$e &rahman.
(isishtadvaita and dwaitam philosophers talk of bhakti as the ultimate
means of liberation. &ut, as shown above, ,astra itself says that
knowled#e of &rahman is the only means of liberation(manasaa eva
anudrashtavyahR. .ind is the only instrument available to man to #ain
knowled#e. 'f the mind is stilled, no knowled#e, not to speak of
knowled#e of &rahman, is possible.
1K. ,ome exponents of (edanta talk of the necessity of mental repetition of
?ahambrahmasmi% (called prasankyaayana, after #ainin# ahambrahmasmi
!nanam. To refute this, ,ankaracarya uses &rhadaranyaka '(.iv.1 where
Ya!navalkya tells 2anaka that by #ainin# knowled#e of &rahman he has attained
that which is free from fear, i.e., &rahman= there is no instruction to do
prasankyaayana. 'n Naishkarmyasiddhi ''.C), ,ureswaracarya says praskhyayana
is a mental action and action is not undertaken for attainin# somethin# which is
already available. .oksha is not a thin# that is attained= it is ever one%s nature
Section 10 - :iberation in *$is :i%e Itsel% -
1A. There is more than one place in the /panishads where there is a clear indication
that it is possible to be liberated from samsara in this very life. &rhadaranyaka
/panishad '(.iv.A * +&ein# but &rahman he becomes mer#ed in &rahman.
(Brahma eva san brahma aanpoti-. (This refers to !ivanmukti followed by
videhamukti. 'n this mantra, the 2ivanmukta is described as +one without
desires (akaamah, who is free from desires (nishkaamah, whose desires have
been fulfilled (aaptakamahand for whom all ob!ects of desire are but the atma
(aatmakamah)- (0is #oal was atma and he has attained it. 9hen a person has
attained atma, i.e. has #ained and assimilated ahambrahmasmi !nanam it is as
#ood as havin# fulfilled all anaatma desires as well, because atma is the essence of
everythin#. 'dentified with &rahman he has a sense of completeness
(poornatvamE and is without desires. &rhadaranyaka /panishad '(.iv.1; *
+&ein# in this very body we have somehow known that &rahman66.Those who
know 't become immortal,- &rhadaranyaka /panishad '(.iv.B * +9hen all the
desires that dwell in his mind are #one, he666.becomes immortal and attains
&rahman in this very body. 2ust as the slou#h of a snake is cast off and lies in the
ant4hill, so does this body lie.- Nrsimhapurvatapani /panishad ''.A talks of the
knower of &rahman becomin# immortal, here itself.'n Kathopanishad ).<.1;, it is
said, +when all desires clin#in# to one%s heart fall off, then a mortal becomes
immortal (and he attains &rahman here (i.e. even when he is livin#.- 'n ).<.1K,
it is said +when all knots of the heart are destroyed, then a man becomes
immortal and attains &rahman here (even when he is livin#.- .undaka
/panishad <.).K * +0avin# attained (known &rahman, the seers become
contented with their knowled#e, established in identity with paramatma,
composes with the senses withdrawn. 0avin# known the all pervasive 5ne
everywhere, these discriminatin# people , ever mer#ed in contemplation enter
into the 3ll (at the time of the fallin# of the body, i.e., they drop the upadhis
con!ured up by avidya, like space confined within a pot on the breakin# of the
pot-. 2ivanmukti is not attainment of any new nature. 't is discovery of one%s
eternal nature. That is why in Fhando#ya, the #uru tells ,wetaketu +Thou art
That- in the present sense and not in the future tense, +Tat tam bhavishyati-.
,ankaracarya cites the instance of 1ishi (amadeva. &rhadaranyaka /panishad,
citin# 1# veda '(.xxvi.1, says, +knowin# &rahman, 1ishi (amadeva attained
sarvatmabhava-. The present participle, says ,ankaracarya, is used only when
what it indicates is simultaneous with what the main verb indicates. ,o, knowin#
&rahman and attainin# sarvatmabhava are simultaneous. 't means that liberation
has been attained in this life itself (even while the rishi was in the womb.
Section 13 - =ide$a(u!ti
1. &rhadaranyaka /panishad '(.;.vi * +1e#ardin# this there is this
.antra verseJ ?&ein# attached, the (transmi#ratin# self to#ether with
its karma attains that on which its subtle body or mind is set. 't
experiences (in the other world the karma phalam for whatever karma
it had done in this world. 9hen it is exhausted, it comes a#ain from that
world to this world for newkarma. Thus does the person with desires
(transmi#rate. &ut in the case of the person who is without desires,
(without desires because for whom all ob!ects of desire have been
attained, (attained because has no desires, (he has no desires because
for whom there is no desire other than the atma (identified with the
atma, what should one see, hear, think or know and throu#h what@, his
or#ans do not depart. (,ince the man who has no desire has no work
and therefore his or#ans (sukshma sarira have no cause to #o to the
next world. &ein# but &rahman, he is mer#ed in &rahman (ya akaamah
nishkaamah aaptakaamah aatmakaamah na tasya praana
utkraaamanati, brahmaiva san brahma aapyeti-. Kaivalya /panishad ;
* +Throu#h a life of renunciation, the pure minded seekers clearly #rasp
the meanin# of teachin# of (edanta. 0avin# become one with the
'nfinite &rahman (while livin#, all those seekers #et totally resolved
into &rahman at the time of final death.- .undaka '''.ii.; * +The atma
of the knower (of &rahman mer#es in the abode that is &rahman-.
>rasna /panishad ('.K * + 2ust as the these flowin# rivers that have the
sea as their #oal #et absorbed on reachin# the sea, the sixteen
constituents of the all seein# >urusha, i.e., one who has reco#ni$es his
identity with &rahman , the one who has >urusha (&rahman as one%s
#oal, (the sixteen di#its bein# the ten indriyas, the five pranas and the
ahamkara disappear on reachin# >urusha (&rahman, when their nama
roopa are destroyed and the one (the entity that remains undestroyed
is simply called >urusha (&rahman-. (Gependin# on the context, the
word, +>urusha- refers to !ivatma or 'swara or &rahman. .undaka
/panishad '''.ii.B also indicates that the sukshma sarira and karma
sarira of a !ivanmukta disinte#rate and are dissolved in their cosmic
source 4 +.To their sources return the constituents of the body and to
their respective #ods #o all the presidin# deities of the senses-.
&rhadaranyaka '''.ii.11 * +%Ya!navalkya% asked he, ?when this liberated
person (!ivanmukta dies, do his or#ans #o up from him, or do they not@%
?No%, replied Ya!navalkya6--.
Section 16 - 9ra(a(u!ti
1. 9e #et references to kramamukti in >rasna /panishad (.K and
,wesvatara /panishad '.11 >rasna K.K. * +3ny one who meditates on the
supreme >urusha, usin# the three letters of 5m (as aalambanam,
symbol #oes, after death, to the bri#ht ,un4world660e becomes freed
from papa and he is led to the world of &rahmaa (0iranya#arbha by the
saama mantras. There he sees (#ains knowled#e of the supreme
>urusha (i.e. &rahman-. 3fter teachin# that that by knowin#
>aramatma all afflictions ( klesas are destroyed and one is liberated
from the cycle of births and deaths, ,wetasvatara /panishad '.11 #oes
on to describe the process of upasana and kramamukti. 't says +'f one
meditates on >arameswara durin# life, on the fall of the physical body,
the sukshma sarira #oes to !oin 'swara (the kaaranabrahma, the
macrocosmic causal body, en!oys sarva4aiswarya (all happiness, powers,
etc., and, thereafter, as aaptakaamah (i.e. with a sense of all desires
bein# fulfilled by knowled#e of identity with &rahman becomes
Section 27 - Purpose o% *eac$ing about >ods -it$
1. The ultimate reality, in 3dvaita (edanta is not a principle external to
ourselves. 't ispure existence, i.e., an eternal all pervadin# presence
without form and without attributes which is also pure consciousness.
5r, as #ratefulness to 'swara for havin# provided facilities for #ainin#
!nanam and seekin# 0is #race to retain !nanam, he may use ahamkara,
without pre!udice to his identification with &rahman, and do namaskara
to 'swara.- This is the nir#una &rahman (attributeless &rahman. 3nd
that is identical with our own consciousness. There is no duality
whatsoever. 0owever, with that as the substratum, there is, as a lower
order of reality, as mithya, a superimposition of manifold forms= the
combination of the two appearsto us as ob!ects of the world includin#
livin# bein#s. This is the vyavaharika plane, as distin#uished from the
paramarthika plane, where there is no universe at all, not to speak of
#ods. 'n the vyavaharika plane, the ob!ects include #ods. 3t the hi#hest
level, there is 'swara, the sa#una &rahman (&rahman "ualified with the
attributes of omniscience, omnipotence and all pervasiveness, the
creator. 'swara is uncreated (i.e. 0e is always there, in the vyavaharika
plane, without be#innin# and without end.. 'swara himself, as reflected
consciousness in .aya belon#s to the vyavaharika plane. 9hen 'swara
creates the various constituent parts of the universe, he desi#nates
subordinate forms of reflected consciousnesses to preside over them.
These are personified as #ods. ,tartin# with 0iranya#arbha presidin#
over the whole cosmos, we have deities like 'ndra, 3#ni, (ayu, (aruna
etc. presidin# over various forces of nature and over the constituent
parts of livin# bein#s. 3spects of creation, sustenance and dissolution of
the universe are also personifies as &rahmaa (0iranya#arbha, (ishnu
and ,iva. 'ncarnations of 'swara, (called +avataras- like 1ama, Krishna
etc. are also accepted as phenomena on the vyavaharika plane. 3vataras
are re#arded as 'swara descendin# in various worlds in various forms
and with various manifestations of his powers on critical occasions
when restoration of cosmic harmony is called for. The bodies and minds
of #ods and even avataras are also mithya (vyavaharika satyam. 't is
made clear in certain /panishads that there is only one absolute reality=
that is called &rahman, and #ods are only manifestations 4 nama roopa
* on the vyavaharika plane. 'n &rhadaranyaka /panishad '''.ix.1 to D,in
the dialo#ue between (ida#adha and Ya!navalkya, read with
&rhadaranyaka /panishad '''.ix.)A, it is made clear that the various
#ods mentioned in (edas , like (asus, 1udras, 3dityas, 'ndra, >ra!apati,
0iranya#arbha are only manifestations of the one absolute non4dual,
attributeless &rahman. To the "uestion, +how many #ods are there-, the
answer starts with <EE< and comes down, step by step to <<, to A, to <,
to ), to 1 V and finally to one To the "uestion +9hich is that one Hod@
the answer is +'t is &rahman-. That #ods are only nama roopa and the
reality is only &rahma caitanyam is brou#ht out in the story in
Kenopanishad where the #ods think that what was the victory of #od is
their #lory. To disabuse them of this false idea, &rahman appears as a
Yakshha. The #ods could not make out what it was. 5ne #od after
another is sent by 'ndra to find out. 3#ni #oes= the yaksha asks +9hat
power isthere in you-. 3#ni says +' can burn up all this than is there on
the earth-. The Yaksha places a straw in front of 3#ni. 3#ni is not able to
burn it. ,imilarly (ayu foes= (ayu is unable to blow the straw away.
Then 'ndra himself #oes= when 'ndra approaches, the Yaksha vanishes.
Then /ma appears= 'ndra asks +9hat is the yaksha that appeared and
vanished@- /ma tells him +'t was &rahman-. 0e lon# and short of it is
that the essence of everythin#, even of the #ods is &rahma caitanyam.
&ut for &rahma caitanyam, #ods are also inert. ,vetasvatara /panishad
('. B * +0e is the ruler of all the rulers= he is the #od of all #ods6-
.undaka /panishad ''. '. B* +:rom him take their ori#in the numerous
#ods, the heavenly bein#s66..- Kaivalya /panishad C 4 + 0e (&rahman
is &rahmaa, he is ,iva, he is 'ndra, 0e is the imperishable, the supreme
ma!esty, the self4efful#ent= 0e is (ishnu, he is prana, 0e is time, 0e is
fire, 0e is the moon.- *3itereya /panishad'''.i.<*+This one that is
essentially consciousness is &rahmaa (?a% with elon#ated a= he is 'ndra,
he is >ra!apati, he is all these #ods. 3nd he is the five elements * earth,
air, space, water, and fire * and he is all the bein#s in subtle seed form
and all bein#s born from e##s, wombs, sweat, and the soil, horses, cattle,
elephants and human bein#s. 'ncludin# all these, whatever there is in
this universe, flyin# bein#s, those movin# on the #round, those that are
immoveable * have their existence only in consciousness and everythin#
is functionin# in their own field of work or role only by #ettin# the
re"uisite power and knowled#e only from that consciousness. That
consciousness is the substratum of everythin#. (Fonsciousness is the
one reality in which all phenomenal thin#s end, !ust as the
superimposed snake ends in its base, the rope, on the dawn of
knowled#e. That consciousness is &rahman.- .ahanarayana
/panishad '''.1), talkin# of &rahman, says that 0e (&rahman is
&rahmaa (?a% elon#ated, ,iva and 'ndra. .aitri /panishad ;.K4A says
+devas like a#ni, vayu and surya are but the body of &rahman-.
Taittiriya /panishad 1.K.1 * +The #ods are the limbs of &rahman-.
,vetasvatara /panishad '(.C * %3ll Hods are superimposed on
&rahman-. '(. 1) *+Hods are created by the omniscient Freator-. '(.1<
4+The creator is the master of the #ods-. '(.1B * +The #ods are united in
&rahman or 'swara, i.e. they are non4different from &rahman or
'swara-. :rom all this, it is clear that the various #ods like 'ndra, (aruna
etc. are merely aspects of the one 'swara and the personification is a
symbolic way of expressin# 'swara%s powers and functions= the
personification is meant for meditation. 'swara himself is mithya. The
sole reality is &rahman which is nothin# but pure existence4
consciousness. . .oreover, even these personifications as
Hods,accordin# to ,astra, these so called #ods, apart from 'swara, the
#ods like 'ndra, (aruna, 3#ni, (ayu, ,urya, Fandra etc, are only exalted
!ivas, i.e., those whose prarabdha karma is sopunya4predominant that
they deserve to en!oy life in the hi#her worlds and are entrusted by
'swara to perform certain dele#ated functions in the cosmos for the
duration of a particular unit in the cycle of creation. 9hen that unit of
creation is over, period is over they take rebirth on the earth or lower
worlds, dependin# on the punya4papa proportion of the prarabdha
karma assi#ned for that particular !anmas in that unit of creation,
unless they attain knowled#e of identity with &rahman while they are
there in the other world.
1B. 'n re#ard to 0iranya#arbha, there are two views * one that 0e is >aramatma
0imself and the other that 0e is also an elevated !iva only * a !iva who, in the
previous creation, was an aspirant and bein# the foremost amon# those
practicin# meditation and rites has attained the status of 0iranya#arbha in the
current creation. The view is based on 1#. (eda '.clxiv.;A * +They call 't 'ndra,
.itra, (aruna and :ire-, 3itereya /panishad <.1.< * +The Fonsciousness that is
&rahman is 0iranya#arbha, 't is 'ndra, 't is (irat and all these Hods- and
.anusmriti W.ii.1)< * +,ome call 't 3#ni, others .anu and (irat-. .undaka
/panishad '.i.1 talks of &rahmaa (0iranya#arbha as the first4born amon# the
#ods and "ualifies him as the creator of the universe and protector of the world
(,ankaracarya 4 +0e was born independently, unlike other worldly creatures who
take birth under the impulsion of punya and papa.-. The second view is based on
&rhadaranyaka /panishad 1.;.1 speakin# of 0iranya#arbha* + 6&ecause he was
first and before this whole (band of aspirants burnt all papa- (,ankaracarya%s
commentary be#ins with +it has been explained that one attains the status of
0iranya#arbha throu#h a combination of meditation and rites-, &rhadaranyaka
1.;.) *+0e was afraid-, &rhadaranyaka 1.;.< * + 0e was not at all happy-,
,wetasvatara ;.1) * +0iranya#arbha, the first4born- and .anusmriti Wii.KE * +
,a#es are of the opinion that attainment of oneness with (irat6.
0iranya#arbha66is the hi#hest result produced by satva or pure materials (rites
coupled with meditation. 'n his commentary on &rahadaranyaka 1.;.A,
,ankaracarya says, in effect, that different predications are possible dependin# on
the "uality of the limitin# ad!uncts of the consciousness that is paramatma.
0iranya#arbha, possessin# limitin# ad!uncts of extraordinary purity, is described
by srutis and smritis mostly as the paramatma and seldom as the transmi#ratin#
!ivatma #ainin# the status of 0iranya#arbha. The beauty of it is that all the #ods,
not excludin# 'swara, is unreal. The ajnaani, the one who does not know his own
real nature worships them as different persons.
1C. 5n analysis, it will be seen that since nir#una &rahman cannot be an ob!ect of
worship, the purpose of teachin# sa#una &rahman is only to enable man to #o
throu#h worship and meditation of sa#una &rahman and #raduate to !nana yo#a
(study of /panishads and #ain knowled#e of nir#una &rahman. Ff.
,ankaracarya%s statement +citta avataara upaaya maatratvena-. The infinite
&rahman or even the all pervadin# formless 'swara cannot be visuali$ed. ,o, in
order that devotees may have symbols of their choice for purposes of doin#
worship (pooja or meditation, scriptures provide various forms, called #ods. The
spiritual seeker should not re#ard the #ods that they worship as real, vide
Kenopanishad 1.K,A,B,C. 3 devotee starts the spiritual practice (sadahana with
worship and meditation of a particular form, a particular #od, such as 1ama,
Krishna, etc. &ut, as emphasi$ed in Kena /panishad 1.K, A, B.C, the #ods
worshipped by people are unreal. Therefore, the spiritual seeker has to pro#ress
further and leavin# adherence to a particular form, learn to appreciate the whole
universe as the manifestation of &rahman. 0e must see everythin# and every
bein# that is #lorious as &rahman. This is called viswaroopa4darsanam. &ut even
this also is only a steppin# stone. /ltimately he has to dismiss all the #ods, not
excludin# 'swara and the universe itself as unreal, learn to appreciate the
nirupaadhika, nir#una &rahman and #o on to identify himself with that real
). 3 !nani has no need of sa#una &rahman worship or sa#una &rahman
meditation, but, as an example to those in the lower sta#es of spiritual
pro#ress, he may do sa#una &rahman worship and sa#una &rahman
meditation. 'n this, a !nani who has #ained knowled#e throu#h the
teachin# of 3dvaita (edanta does not make any distinction between
#ods of one reli#ion and another. 0e can accept 2esus and .ohamed as
he does 1ama and Krishna as avataras of 'swara, appearin# in the
vyavaharika plane and he can happily worship in a church or a mos"ue
as he does in a temple. The idea is that, in reli#ion, meant as the
teachin# of preparatory, purificatory disciplines that "ualify a seeker of
liberation for !nana kanda, there can be many paths. &ut when it comes
to philosophy, the 3dvaita (edanta devotee will adhere to his faith that
the sole reality is nir#una &rahman, the Ixistence4Fonsciousness *
'nfinity andthe ultimate means of liberation is only one and that is
identification with nir#una &rahma (!ivahbrahma aikyam. Iven when
the !nani worships in a temple or pray to #od, he does so with the
knowled#e that it is not he (i.e., by identity, the &rahman but the
mithya sariraand the mithya ahamkara that are doin# so.
<. The !nani will concede sufficient reality to the world, as vyavaharika
satyam, in order to follow dharma but will, at the same time dismiss the
world as mithya so that it does not affect him.-
Section 21 - Process o% Obtaining 9no-ledge o%
Identity -it$ 'ra$(an
1D. The sadhanaor process for obtainin# the knowled#e +' am &rahman- consists of
+sravanam-, +mananam- and+nididhyasanam-. Ff. the passa#e in &rhadaranyaka
/panishad ''.;.K * +atma vai are drashtavyah srotavyah nididhysasitivyah.-
a ,ravanam is study of sastra by listenin# to the teachin# of a competent
teacherwho can interpret the scripture properly, i.e., a teacher belon#in# to the
teacher4student linea#e of (edantic teachin# * the #uru sishya parampara.
/panishads are full of seemin# contradictions and obscurities. The problem is
that any part of the upanishadic lore can be sub!ected to harmonious
interpretation only by aperson who knows the whole= since no student will know
the whole until he reaches the end of his study, studyin# by oneself will only end
up in confusion or misconceptions. ,eemin# contradictions and obscure portions
can be clarified only throu#h study of commentaries that analy$e the purport of
the passa#es in accordance with the rules of harmonious construction called
mimamsa. There are countless commentaries and sub4commentaries and
explanatory works and there are works containin# ar#uments and
counterar#uments amon# philosophers of different schools of thou#ht and only a
teacher who has himself studied under a competent teacher in a course coverin#
the ori#inal works, the commentaries and important prakarana #ranthas and
works of disputations can convey the purport and meanin# of /panishadic
passa#es. 3n ideal teacher is a !nani of the #urusishya parampara (the traditional
teacher4disciple linea#e, a strotriya brahmanishta i.e., one who has himself learnt
under a competent teacher belon#in# to the #uru sishya parampara and has
himself also ac"uired the clear and fully assimilated knowled#e that he is
&rahman. The idea is that unless he himself has learnt under a competent teacher
how can he teach and unless he himself is convinced without any mental
reservation that he is &rahman, how can he tell the student sincerely,
+Tattvamasi- ( +You are &rahman- to enable the student to be convinced + aham
brahma asmi- (+X am &rahman-. ,ince one cannot know whether the teacher one
has approached is a brahmanishta (the difficultyis that !nanam is a mental state
and only a !nani himself knows whether he is a !nani= no external si#ns are
infallibly reliable to indicate whether one is a !nani.,the best thin# is to make
sure that the teacher is at least one who has himself learnt under a teacher of the
#uru4sishya parampara ( i.e., a srotriya, hopin# that your punya has made you
reach a srotriya who is also a brahmanishta. 'f the student is perfectly endowed
with sadhana catushtaya sampatti, sravanam itself should enable him to #ain the
knowled#e ?ahambrahmasmi% effectively. &ut for others, there may be obstacles to
the #ainin# of this knowled#e, at the intellectual and emotional levels.
b .ananam is meant for #ettin# the obstacle at the intellectual level removed. 't
is the process of #ettin# doubts arisin# in the course of the study clarified by one%s
own co#itation and by discussion with the teacher.
c Nididhyasanam is meant for #ettin# the obstacle at the emotional level
removed. Iven after mananam has eradicated intellectual doubts, the habit of
emotional identification with the body mind complex (dehaatmabhaava
ac"uired throu#h the countless past !anmas may remain. Nididhyasanam is
meant for the destruction of this habit. 't is of no use if the mind is able to say, ?'
am &rahman% when the listenin# to the #uru has taken place, but on reachin#
home, habitual fixations of the mind take over and one does action and thinks ,
attributin# reality to the body4mind4complex and its relations , such as + my son
has a chronic health problem= ' am distressed-, + ' had invested in shares= the
stock exchan#e index has come down= ' am de!ected-, + ' am becomin# old= ' am
fearful= nobody will look after me-, + 9hat shall be in my next !anma@ ,hall ' be
born in a #ood family@ 5r shall ' become a plan or an animal or an insect@-.
+,hall ' be healthy in my next !anma or shall ' suffer from heart problems and
diabetes@- +9hy not #o and see what heaven is like@ 8et me find out what Ya#na
or meditation ' should do to #o to heaven-. +'ce cream is so tasty= ' must have it
durin# lunch today-. ++T.. Krishna is sin#in# at the 3cademy. ,an!ay is sin#in#
at the .illipore :ine 3rts. &oth are at K p.m. ' want to listen to both. 9hy should
these sabhas clash like this@ 'n any case ' must listen to one of them. The (edanta
class also happens to be at A p.m. &ut ' will cut the class today and #o to listen to
,an!ay-. To remove these emotional disturbances (called vipariita bhaavana-
which blow away ?the ahambrahmasmi% thou#ht one had in the class, one has to
dwell on the various important aspects of the teachin# such as 4 +' am the
immortal &rahman. 9here is the "uestion of any worry about what ' shall be in
the next birth or where is the "uesstion of #oin# to heaven@-. +' am not this body
or this mind. No doubt prarabdha is there and the physiolo#ical afflictions of the
body will be there, but ' have placed my ?%'- in the pure consciousness. ' should
not let this mind worry about anythin#. 8et the body #o throu#h its prarabdha=
this mind which is attuned to the pure consciousness should be calm and
reposed-. +' am the asan#a &rahman. +9ife, children etc. are all nama roopa
superimposed on me, the &rahman. ,ince, in this !anma, this particular nama
roopa of a body has married that nama roopa called wife and #iven birth to
certain other nama roopa called children, this nama roopa has to dischar#e its
duties to those nama roopa but there is no place for sorrow, worry or anxiety. No
doubt as the vyavaharika father, if my son is ill, ' have to take him to the hospital
and put him under the care of a competent physician. &ut his condition should
not disturb the mind. ' have disidentified from the mind. ' am saantam &rahman.
9hatever happens to my son is prarabdha. Nothin# that happens to him should
disturb this mind.- 3nd so on. Iven while experiencin# thin#s, transactin# with
persons and handlin# situations in the world, the +' am &rahman- thou#ht
should be runnin# as a constant undercurrent in the mind and should surface
immediately if there is the sli#htest tendency of intrusion of any notion related to
dehaatmabhaava (identification with the body mind complex.
)E. 'n the course of the studyof ,astra, three kinds of doubt have to be overcome.
(a *raamaana asambhaavana , 9hether sruti reveals &rahman@ This is
discussed and the conclusion is that sruti does not reveal &rahman but only
removes one%s false notion of abramatvam ( sense of limitation.
(b *rameya asambhaavsna * 9hether ,ruti teaches advaitam or dwaitam@
This debated by the opponents of advaita and advaitin. The conclusion is that
sriti teaches advaitam.
(c *ramatru asambhaavana * 0ow can ',occupyin# a small corner in a town or
villa#e and #oin# throu#h the vicissitudes of life be the infinite &rahman. The
conclusion arrived at by nididhyaasanam removin# the vipariita bhaavana is not
only + ' am &rahman% but ?' have never been anythin# other than &rahman%.
1. 9hen we talk of !ivabrahma aikyam, it is from the point of view off
nirupadhika !iva and nirupadhika &rahman. 9hen we talk of karya4
karana4sambandha,it is from the point of view of sopadhikam!iva and
sopadhika &rahman.