Posted by: adbhutam | August 20, 2017

‘A SELECTION FROM THE DRONA PARVAN’

‘A selection from the Drona Parvan’

Here is an article on the above topic available for download:

regards
Posted by: adbhutam | August 18, 2017

FOUR USEFUL POCKET BOOKS ON MIND MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES

Four useful pocket books on Mind Management Techniques

Sri S.K.Jayakumar (who is a member in Advaita l) is a very resourceful person residing in Bengaluru. After he lost his eyesight a few years ago, he sprung into action to acquire several skills that completely raised him above the setback the disability could let in.

He has a lively multi-session yoga class at home where several persons, young and old, men and women attend. He has combined Bhagavadgita with the classes and has now brought out a four-volume pocket size booklet titled ‘Mind Management Techniques’:
  1.  Guidance for Growth and improvement
  2. Success Stimulators and Achievers’ Guide
  3. Source of Solutions to any problem
  4. Enhance Happiness and Enrich your Life
All these are compilations by Sri Jayakumar, who has behind him a rich spiritual learning and practice under the guidance and blessings of (late) HH Swami Dayananda Saraswati. He is an ardent student of Vedanta and Swami Paramarthananda ji’s recorded classes have been his forte. He has thousands of hours of recordings with him. His website is: saipaduka.org
I browsed through the above booklets and found the material to be well presented. He has refrained from filling the books with scriptural quotations but has presented the crucial message of the Upanishads in language that appeals to the thinking mind. One can contact him through the website and get more details about the above booklets and other activities.
warm regards
Posted by: adbhutam | August 18, 2017

ANANDAGIRI ON ‘NĀRĀYAṆAḤ PARO’VYAKTĀT’

Anandagiri on ‘Nārāyaṇaḥ paro’vyaktāt…’

Sri Shankara Bhagavatpada opens his Bhagavadgītā commentary with an introduction. He first cites a purāṇic verse as invocation:

नारायणः परोऽव्यक्तादण्डमव्यक्तसम्भवम् ।

अण्डस्यान्तस्त्विमे लोकाः सप्तद्वीपा  मेदिनी ॥

Nārāyaṇa is beyond the unmanifest avyakta. The Great Egg is born of the avyakta. Within this Egg lie the various worlds characterized by the seven islands.

Sri Anandagiri Acharya who has commented on the entire prasthāna traya bhāṣya of Shankara elaborates the meaning of the terms in the above verse. Here is his commentary:

आनन्दगिरिटीका

कर्मनिष्ठाज्ञाननिष्ठेत्युपायोपेयभूतं निष्ठाद्वयमधिकृत्य प्रवृत्तगीताशास्त्रं व्याचिख्यासुर्भगवान् भाष्यकारो विघ्नोपप्लवोपशमनादिप्रयोजनप्रसिद्धये प्रामाणिकव्यवहारप्रमाणकमिष्टदेवतातत्त्वानुस्मरणं मङ्गलाचरणं सम्पादयन् अनवशेषेणेतिहासपुराणयोर्व्याचिख्यासितगीताशास्त्रेणैकवाक्यतामभिप्रेत्य पौराणिकश्लोकमेवान्तर्यामिविषयमुदाहरति – नारायण इति । ‘आपो नारा इति प्रोक्ता आपो वै नरसूनवः ।  अयनं तस्य ताः पूर्वं तेन नारायणः स्मृतः ॥ ‘ [मनुः १.१०] इति स्मृतिसिद्धः स्थूलदृशां नारायणशब्दार्थः । सूक्ष्मदर्शिनः पुनराचक्षते – नरशब्देन चराचरात्मकं शरीरजातमुच्यते । तत्र नित्यसन्निहिताश्चिदाभासा जीवा नारा इति निरुच्यन्ते । तेषामयनमाश्रयो नियामकोऽन्तर्यामी नारायण इति । यमधिकृत्यान्तर्यामिब्राह्मणं श्रीनारायणाख्यं मन्त्राम्नायं चाधीयते । तदनेन शास्त्रप्रतिपाद्यं विशिष्टं तत्त्वमादिष्टं भवति ।

 ननु परस्याऽऽत्मनो मायासम्बन्धादन्तर्यामित्वं शास्त्रप्रतिपाद्यत्वं च वक्तव्यम् । अन्यथा कूटस्थासङ्गाविषयाद्वितीयस्य तदयोगात् । तथा च शुद्धतासिद्धौ कथं यथोक्ता परदेवता शास्त्रादावनुस्मर्यते ? शुद्धस्य हि तत्त्वस्यानुस्मरणमभीष्टफलवदभीष्टम् । तत्राह –

परोऽव्यक्तादिति । अव्यक्तम् अव्याकृतं मायेत्यनर्थान्तरम् । तस्मात् परो – व्यतिरिक्तस्तेनासंस्पृष्टोऽयं परः, ‘अक्षरात् परतः परः’ (मु. उ. २-१-२) इति श्रुतेर्गृहीतः । तत्त्वतो मायासम्बन्धाभावेऽपि कल्पनया तदीयसङ्गतिमङ्गीकृत्यान्तर्यामित्वादिकमुन्नेयम् ।

यस्मादीश्वरस्य व्यतिरेको विवक्षितस्तस्मिन्नव्यक्ते साक्षिसिद्धेऽपि, कार्यलिङ्गकमनुमानमुपन्यस्यति – अण्डमिति ।

अपञ्चीकृतपञ्चमहाभूतात्मकं हैरण्यगर्भं तत्त्वमण्डमित्यभिलप्यते । तदव्यक्तात् पूर्वोक्तादुत्पद्यते । प्रसिद्धा हि श्रुतिस्मृतिवादेषु हिरण्यगर्भस्य मूलकारणादुत्पत्तिः । तथा च कार्यलिङ्गादव्यक्तादभिव्यक्तिरित्यर्थः । हिरण्यगर्भे श्रुतिस्मृतिसमधिगतेऽपि कार्यलिङ्गकमनुमानमस्तीति मन्वानो विराडुत्पत्तिमुपदर्शयति – अण्डस्येति । उक्तस्याण्डस्य हिरण्यगर्भाभिधानीयस्यान्तरिमे भूरादयो लोका विराडात्मका वर्तन्ते । कार्यं हि कारणस्यान्तर्भवति । तेन हिरण्यगर्भान्तर्भूता भूरादयो लोका विराडात्मानस्तेन सृष्टा इति तल्लिङ्गाद्धिरण्यगर्भसिद्धिरित्यर्थः । लोकानेव पञ्चीकृतपञ्चमहाभूतात्मकविराडात्मत्वेन व्युत्पादयति – सप्तद्वीपेति ।

‘सा पृथिव्यभवत्‘ [बृ.उ. १.२.२] इति श्रुतौ विराजो जन्म सङ्कीर्तितमित्यङ्गीकारादशेषद्वीपोपेता पृथिवीत्यनेन सर्वलोकात्मको विराडेवोच्यते । चशब्देन विराजो हि हिरण्यगर्भे पूर्वोक्ताण्डात्मन्यन्तर्भावात् , ततः सम्भवोऽनुकृष्यते । परमात्मा हि स्वाज्ञानद्वारा जगदशेषमुत्पाद्य स्वात्मन्येवान्तर्भाव्याखण्डैकरससच्चिदानन्दात्मना स्वे महिम्नि तिष्ठतीत्यर्थः । अत्र च नारायणशब्देनाभिधेयमुक्तम् । नरा एव नारा जीवाः, त्वम्पदवाच्याः, तेषामयनमधिष्ठानं तत्पदवाच्यं परं ब्रह्म । तथा च कल्पितस्याधिष्ठानातिरिक्तस्वरूपाभावाद्वाच्यस्य कल्पितत्वेऽपि लक्ष्यस्य ब्रह्ममात्रत्वाद्ब्रह्मात्मैक्यं विषयोऽत्र सूच्यते । तेनार्थाद्विषयविषयिभावः सम्बन्धोऽपि ध्वनितः । परोऽव्यक्तादित्यनेन मायासंस्पर्शाभावोक्त्या सर्वानर्थनिवृत्त्या परमानन्दाविर्भावलक्षणो मोक्षो विवक्षितः । तेन च तत्कामस्याधिकारो द्योतितः । परिशिष्टेन तु- शब्देन वस्तुनो वास्तवमद्वितीयत्वमावेदितम् । तेन च वस्तुद्वारा परमविषयवं तज्ज्ञाननिष्ठायास्तदुपायभूतकर्मनिष्ठायाश्चावान्तरविषयत्वमित्यर्थादुक्तमित्यवधेयम् ॥ १ ॥

Here is what Sri Anandagiri says on that verse:
  • Shankara Bhagavatpāda is invoking his iṣṭadevatā tattvam (the essence of the chosen deity) that is the antaryāmi, the impeller, Nārāyaṇa with a view to seek the divine blessings for the unimpeded accomplishment of the task he has taken up (of writing the commentary on the BG).
  • Since the doctrine of the BG is completely discussed in the itihāsa and purāṇa-s, with a view to bring out the idea that the purāṇa and the BG have the same subject matter, he is citing a purāṇic verse.
  • The ordinary meaning of the term ‘nārāyaṇa’ is brought out by the Manu smrti verse 1.10:  Water is called ‘nara,’—water being the offspring of nara; since water was the first thing created by (or, the original residence of) that being, he is, on that account, described as ‘nārāyaṇa.’—(10)
  • The refined meaning of the above verse is: The word ‘nara’ means the bodies of all beings. ‘nāra’ means the jīva-s that are embodied there. Nārāyaṇa is the abode, support, impeller, of the jīva-s.
  • The antaryāmibrāhmaṇam of the Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad and the Nārāyaṇa sūktam have this nārāyaṇa for their subject matter.
  • Thereby the specific tattva is the one taught by the śāstra is specified by citing the purāṇic verse by Shankara.
  • But then, the idea of antaryāmi arises only when the adjunct of māyā is administered to the Supreme Brahman. This is because, to control/impel, there has to be someone other than the controlling entity. Thus, in the absence of applying māyā to the immutable completely unattached Brahman there can be no impeller-hood to Brahman. Therefore with a view to gain purity, how indeed is the Supreme Brahman invoked in the beginning of the śāstram? For, one intends to accomplish his desires only by contemplating on the tattvam that is pure, unalloyed.
  • This is answered by the term: paro’vyaktāt in the invocatory verse. ‘avyakta, avyākṛta, māyā’ are all synonyms.
  •  ‘Nārāyaṇa’ is beyond and different from māyā, untouched by it.  The Mundakopaniṣat 2.1.2 says ‘It is beyond akṣara (māyā) which is superior (to its effects).’
  • Even though there is really no māyā-connection to Brahman (Nārāyaṇa), by imagining such a connection alone one can account for His antaryāmitvam, etc. In other words, nirguṇa Brahman cannot be the antaryāmin.
  • So far, from the Anandagiri commentary we come to know that: Nārāyaṇa is beyond the third pāda of the Māṇḍūkya Upaniṣat 6th mantra. The Turiya of the seventh mantra is what is designated as Nārāyaṇa by Shankara, by the Purāṇa. This Turiya is Nirguna Brahman. Avyakta is māyā.
  • From avyakta arises the Hiraṇyagarbha who is of the nature of the five tanmātra-s, the apanchīkṛta pancha bhūta-s. These are also called sūkṣma bhūta-s. These bhūta-s themselves arise from mūlaprakṛti called avyakta in the verse.
  • From Hiraṇyagarbha arises virāṭ who represents the entire manifest universe spanning the fourteen loka-s. As per the verse, these loka-s exist within the container called Hiraṇyagarbha. Virāt is born of Hiraṇyagarbha. What is the role of Iśvara then? [Shankara designates ‘Viṣṇu’ as virāṭ in the Muṇḍaka bhāṣya]
  • Nirguṇa Brahman, known as ‘Nārāyaṇa’, through his own ignorance having created the entire universe, remains in His own Self as the impartite sat chit ānanda. This is the svarūpa lakṣana of Brahman. This is applicable to the Nirguṇa Brahman alone.
  • ‘Nārāyaṇa’ is etymologically dissected: ‘narāḥ’ are the jīva-s, denoted by the tvam-pada (of the mahāvākya tat tvam asi). Their ayanam, adhiṣṭhānam, substratum, is the Para Brahman denoted by the term ‘tat’ of the mahāvākya. Thus, the word ‘nārāyaṇa’ means the Nirguṇa Brahman, the purport of the mahāvākya.
  • Īśvara, Hiranyagarbha, Virāt, distinct from Nirguṇa Brahman (Para Brahman) are terms meaning apara brahman. [Shankara in the BSB has said: saguṇam, kāryam, aparam: that which is saguṇa is an effect, produced and is inferior. If someone erroenously thinks that Shankara holds Viṣṇu as the saguṇa brahman, then it is inevitable that Shankara holds that Viṣṇu to be an effect, created and inferior.
  • Since the imagined universe has no existence distinct from the substratum (Nārāyaṇa), the lakṣya, being Brahman alone, the subject matter, ‘viṣaya’, of the Gitāśāstram is Brahmātmaikyam. By this, the ‘sambandha’, connection, of the nature of ‘viṣaya-viṣayi’ is also implied.  That is, the viṣaya for the śāstram is brahmātmaikyam. The gitāśāstram is the viṣayī.  [The anubandha-chatuṣṭayam, the four-fold requirements to be specified at the beginning of a work: adhikārī, viṣaya, sambandha and prayojanam – are being identified by Anandagiri from the verse itself.]
  • Since Ṇārāyaṇa’ is stated to be beyond avyakta, māyā, the former is none other than mokṣa that is completely untouched by māyā. The Turīya of the Mandukya is explained by the mantra itself as: prapanchopaśamam śāntam śivam advaitam, sa ātmā. This is the prayojanam of the study and practice of the vedānta śāstram.  The adhikārin, the aspirant, for this mokṣa, for this śāstram, also stands implied thereby.
  • The word ‘tu’ of the verse ‘aṇḍasya antaḥ tu ime..’, denotes that the brahma vastu is verily the Real (distinguished from all unreal anātmā commencing from avyakta….up to the loka-s) devoid of second of anything – satya-advitīyam. This is also Nirguṇa Brahman; the vastu is ‘Nārāyaṇa.’
  • Through this ‘vastu’ (‘nārāyaṇa’ that is nirguṇa Brahman, Shankara is conveying that the ultimate, primary, purport, subject matter, parama-viṣaya, of the Gitāśāstram is nirguṇa brahman, brahmātmaikyam. The subsidiary, secondary, avāntara-viṣaya is the means to attain the supreme purport: jñāna niṣṭhā and karma niṣṭhā (the two yoga-s called jnana and karma yoga-s).
Ānandagiri continues:

अथैवमपि कथमीश्वरस्यानादिनिधनस्य नित्यशुद्धबुद्वमुक्तस्वभावस्य स्वभावविपरीतं जन्मादि सम्भवति ? न हि भूतानामीशिता स्वतन्त्रः स्वात्मनोऽनर्थं स्वयमेव सम्पादयितुमर्हति, न चास्य देहादिग्रहे किमपि फलमुपलभ्यते, तत्राह – त्रिगुणात्मिकामिति ।

Though Brahman is endowed with lordly powers (through māyā association), how is it that it takes on a body through birth, etc. quite contrary to its true nature of being Pure consciousness, etc.? The answer Shankara gives is: through the association of the māyā of the three guṇa-s.

देहग्रहे प्राधान्यं मायाया दर्शयितुं पुनः स्वमाययेत्युक्तम् । ‘स वा अयं पुरुषो जायमानः शरीरमभिसम्पद्यमानः’ (बृ. उ. १४-३-८) इति श्रुतिमाश्रित्याह – देहवानिति । इव जात इव इवकाराभ्यां देहादेरवस्तुत्वेन कल्पितत्वं द्योत्यते ।

It is predominantly māyā that is contributing in Brahman taking upon a body. He is as though born and as though embodied. By using the ‘iva’ to indicate ‘as though’ the purport is: the body, etc. of the Lord are not real, but only imaginary.

 Shankara concludes his introduction to the BGB thus:
इमं द्विप्रकारं धर्मं निःश्रेयसप्रयोजनम् , परमार्थतत्त्वं  वासुदेवाख्यं परं ब्रह्माभिधेयभूतं विशेषतः अभिव्यञ्जयत् विशिष्टप्रयोजनसम्बन्धाभिधेयवद्गीताशास्त्रम् । यतःतदर्थविज्ञाने समस्तपुरुषार्थसिद्धिःअतः तद्विवरणे यत्नः क्रियते मया ॥
The Gītāśāstra especially reveals the Supreme reality called ‘Vāsudeva’ that is the name of the Parabrahman by also teaching the two-fold dharma of pravṛtti and nivṛtti leading to mokṣa.
Thus, Shankara holds the term ‘vāsudeva’ to be signifying the Parmārthatattvam that is Parabrahman and not a person, deity . Anandagiri has also made it very clear that the term ‘Nārāyaṇa’ is that nirguṇa tattva which is beyond the avyakta. The personal god,  ‘bhagavān’ with the six-fold attributes of omniscience, etc. is within the avyakta, which is māyā and mithyā in Vedānta. Shankara has said that in the BSB 2.1.14:
तदेवमविद्यात्मकोपाधिपरिच्छेदापेक्षमेवेश्वरस्येश्वरत्वंसर्वज्ञत्वं सर्वशक्तित्वं  परमार्थतो विद्यया अपास्तसर्वोपाधिस्वरूपे आत्मनि ईशित्रीशितव्यसर्वज्ञत्वादिव्यवहार उपपद्यते ;
It is only owing to the avidyā-born upādhi-caused finitude that omniscience and omnipotence apply to Brahman and these do not inhere in It in absolute terms upon these being negated by right knowledge about Brahman-Ātman where the ruled-ruler relationship ceases to be.
Anandagiri echoes the above idea of Shankara in the BGB gloss itself, as pointed out above:  परमात्मा हि स्वाज्ञानद्वारा जगदशेषमुत्पाद्य   – through the medium of its own ignorance Brahman creates the entire world….
Thus, in Shānkara Vedānta, the terms ‘nārāyaṇa, vāsudeva..etc.’ basically mean the Nirguṇa Tattvam and not a person or deity. Even in the case of ‘nārāyaṇa’ as antaryāmi, Shankara has rejected the idea of ‘the jiva as the body of Brahman where the former is ruled by the latter’ by the logic of ‘there cannot be two distinct conscious entities in one body’ in the BSB antaryāmyadhikaraṇam. In the Br.Up. antaryāmi brāhmaṇam too, for Shankara it is a mahāvākya ‘एष त आत्मा अन्तर्याम्यमृतः’ ‘this antaryāmi (that is Pure consciousness illumining and enlivening the inert body-mind complex) is your very eternal Self’. If the jīva is the body of Brahman, the former will only be inert, for only an inert entity requires impelling by another sentient entity. Shankara has elaborated the idea of the Pure Consciousness that is Brahman impelling the inert body-mind complex in the Kenopanishad bhāṣya. The ‘viṣaya’, subject matter, for the Vedānta śāstra is not any formed, created, entity but the uncreated nirguṇa brahman.
To condense the entire foregoing discourse in a capsule form would be: that which is beyond avyakta is nirguṇa brahman. The purāṇic verse Shankara uses as invocation depicts ‘nārāyaṇa’ as beyond avyakta. Anandagiri brings out the purport very clearly.
All the Advaita Acharyas starting from Shankara, Sureshwara, Anandagiri, Sāyana (in the nārāyaṇa sūktam), Upaniṣadbrahmayogin, etc. have uniformly held the ‘nārāyaṇa’ śabda to denote the nirguṇa brahman.
Om Tat Sat
Posted by: adbhutam | August 14, 2017

VIDEO: ‘A CONVERSATION WITH VIDYASANKAR JI’

Video: ‘A Conversation with Vidyasankar ji’

Here is the link to a very informative and rewarding conversation with Sri Vidyasankar Sundaresan by Sri Prashant Parikh:

A number of topics are covered in the dialogue, with a promise to take this forward.
I personally feel this is a very unique conversation that answers a lot of questions that contemporary Hindus, Brahmanas, sādhaka-s, etc. might be having and wanting to be resolved.
The urge to share the link to the video with others comes naturally to whoever listens to it. That is true of me.
regards
Posted by: adbhutam | August 12, 2017

A TALE FROM THE SHATAPATHA BRAHMANA

 A tale from the shatapatha brAhmaNa

Please find below a mediafire link for an article written by my friend who does not want to be identified.

Regards,
subrahmanian.v
Posted by: adbhutam | August 7, 2017

MESSAGE FROM THE MAHOPANISHAT

Message from the Mahopanishat

An article on the above topic is available here for download:

Om Tat Sat
Posted by: adbhutam | August 2, 2017

VISHNU IS SAMASHTI JIVA: SHANKARA IN MUNDAKA BHASHYA

In the Mundakopanishat 2.1.4 there is the description of the Virāt puruṣa:

अग्निर्मूर्धा चक्षुषी चन्द्रसूर्यौ दिशः श्रोत्रे वाग्विवृताश्च वेदाः ।
वायुः प्राणो हृदयं विश्वमस्य पद्भ्यां पृथिवी ह्येष सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा ॥ ४ ॥

4 The heavens are His head; the sun and moon, His eyes; the quarters, His ears; the revealed Vedas, His speech; the wind is His breath; the universe, His heart. From his feet is produced the earth. He is, indeed, the inner self of all beings (pancha bhūta-s).

Shankara’s commentary is:

सङ्क्षेपतः परविद्याविषयमक्षरं निर्विशेषं पुरुषं सत्यम् ‘दिव्यो ह्यमूर्तः’ (मु. उ. २ । १ । २) इत्यादिना मन्त्रेणोक्त्वा, पुनस्तदेव सविशेषं विस्तरेण वक्तव्यमिति प्रववृते ; सङ्क्षेपविस्तरोक्तो हि पदार्थः सुखाधिगम्यो भवति सूत्रभाष्योक्तिवदिति । यो हि प्रथमजात्प्राणाद्धिरण्यगर्भाज्जायतेऽण्डस्यान्तर्विराट् , स तत्त्वान्तरितत्त्वेन लक्ष्यमाणोऽप्येतस्मादेव पुरुषाज्जायत एतन्मयश्चेत्येतदर्थमाह, तं च विशिनष्टि —

The Supreme Brahman, Akṣaram, free of all attributes, that is the subject matter of the Parā vidyā, was stated concisely as ‘divyo hyamūrtaḥ puruṣa…’ Mundaka 2.1.2. Now, in the sequel, with a view to present that Puruṣa alone along with attributes, in an elaborate manner, the Upaniṣad proceeds. This manner of consice-elaborate presentation, like sutra-bhāṣya, will enable one to grasp the tattva easily. He who is born of the First-born Hiraṇyagarbha, within the Cosmic Egg (Golden Egg), who is called ‘Virāt’, even though shown as born once-removed (that is, through the medium of Hiranyagarbha), is actually born of the Supreme Puruṣa alone and thus is of that content alone. With a view to state this, the current mantra describes him (virāṭ)-

अग्निः द्युलोकः, ‘असौ वाव लोको गौतमाग्निः’ (छा. उ. ५ । ४ । १) इति श्रुतेः । मूर्धा यस्योत्तमाङ्गं शिरः, चक्षुषी चन्द्रश्च सूर्यश्चेति चन्द्रसूर्यौ ; यस्येति सर्वत्रानुषङ्गः कर्तव्यः अस्येत्यस्य पदस्य वक्ष्यमाणस्य यस्येति विपरिणामं कृत्वा । दिशः श्रोत्रे यस्य । वाक् विवृताश्च उद्घाटिताः प्रसिद्धा वेदाः यस्य । वायुः प्राणो यस्य । हृदयम् अन्तःकरणं विश्वं समस्तं जगत् अस्य यस्येत्येतत् । सर्वं ह्यन्तःकरणविकारमेव जगत् , मनस्येव सुषुप्ते प्रलयदर्शनात् ; जागरितेऽपि तत एवाग्निविस्फुलिङ्गवद्विप्रतिष्ठानात् । यस्य च पद्भ्यां जाता पृथिवी,

[The cosmic Puruṣa, Virāṭ’s description is: His head is the heavenly region, his eyes are the sun and moon, etc. ]
एष देवो विष्णुरनन्तः प्रथमशरीरी त्रैलोक्यदेहोपाधिः सर्वेषां भूतानामन्तरात्मा । स हि सर्वभूतेषु द्रष्टा श्रोता मन्ता विज्ञाता सर्वकरणात्मा ॥

This god Viṣṇu, Ananta, is the first-embodied one with the three worlds as his upādhi and is the self of all beings (pancha bhūta-s). He is the seer, hearer, etc. in all beings. [Anandagiri says for the bhāṣya passage: त्रैलोक्यदेहोपाधिः सर्वेषां भूतानामन्तरात्मा । …self of pancha bhūta-s]

It is here Shankara identifies the Virāṭ puruṣa (born of Hiranyagarbha, who himself is the one born of the Supreme Brahman), as the deity Viṣṇu, ananta. In Advaita, as per the Mandukya Upanishad scheme, the virāṭ is the total gross body, in the waking state. Hiranyagarbha is the total subtle body in the dream state. Ishwara is the total causal body in the deep sleep state. All three, along with the composite of all individual jivas, in the three states, known by the names viśva (jāgrat), taijasa (svapna) and prājña (sleep) state, along with their bhogas and their worlds where they live and experience the bhogas, are anātmā, mithyā. The Turiya alone is satya, Atma, that is the adhiṣṭhānam for the three states along with their contents. It is realization of this Turiya as prapanchopashamam, shāntam, advaitam, as one’s true self that constitutes liberating knowledge as per advaita.

Seen in this background, the deity Viṣṇu that Shankara names above is the samaṣṭi jīva of the waking state. He has above him the Hiranyagarbha and Ishwara within samsāra, and of course, the Turiya as the adhiṣṭhānam.

With a view to get a clear idea as to the status of  ‘Virāṭ’, references to this Virāt in the various other bhāṣyas of Shankara are given hereunder, as a sample:

प्रजापतिः विराट् त्रैलोक्यशरीरो ब्रह्मा समष्टिव्यष्टिरूपः संसारमण्डलव्यापी । Tai.up.2.8.4

[This closely corresponds to the Mundaka bhāṣya cited above]

अग्निः सोऽण्डस्यान्तर्विराट् प्रजापतिः प्रथमजः कार्यकरणसङ्घातवाञ्जातः ; ‘स वै शरीरी प्रथमः’ इति………Bṛ.up 1.2.2

स च पुरुषविधः पुरुषप्रकारः शिरःपाण्यादिलक्षणो विराट् ; स एव प्रथमः सम्भूतोऽनुवीक्ष्यान्वालोचनं कृत्वा — ‘कोऽहं किंलक्षणो वास्मि’ इति, नान्यद्वस्त्वन्तरम् , आत्मनः प्राणपिण्डात्मकात्कार्यकरणरूपात् , नापश्यत् न ददर्श । केवलं त्वात्मानमेव सर्वात्मानमपश्यत् । तथा पूर्वजन्मश्रौतविज्ञानसंस्कृतः ‘सोऽहं प्रजापतिः, सर्वात्माहमस्मि’ इत्यग्रे व्याहरत् व्याहृतवान् । Bṛ.Up.1.4.1  This virāṭ is of the form of a human, with head, hands, etc.and is the first to be born. He asked himself ‘who am I, what is my nature’? etc. He is also endowed with his knowledge of the Veda, acquired in his earlier birth in the form of ‘I am prajāpati and the self-of-all’ as he would say later.

न क्षीरस्य सर्वोपमर्देन दधिभावापत्तिवद्विराट् सर्वोपमर्देनैतावानास ; किं तर्हि ? आत्मना व्यवस्थितस्यैव विराजः सत्यसङ्कल्पत्वादात्मव्यतिरिक्तं स्त्रीपुंसपरिष्वक्तपरिमाणं शरीरान्तरं बभूव । स एव च विराट् तथाभूतः — ‘स हैतावानास’ इति सामानाधिकरण्यात् ।  Bṛ.up.1.4.3  This virāt alone divided himself into man and woman.

तस्यैव बाह्यः पिण्ड एकः साधारणः — विराट् वैश्वानरः आत्मा पुरुषविधः प्रजापतिः कः हिरण्यगर्भः — इत्यादिभिः पिण्डप्रधानैः शब्दैराख्यायते सूर्यादिप्रविभक्तकरणः । Bṛ.up.2.1 introduction.

तत्र प्रथमान्तः शिष्यः पञ्चम्यन्त आचार्यः ; परमेष्ठी विराट् ; ब्रह्मणो हिरण्यगर्भात् ; ततः परम् आचार्यपरम्परा नास्ति । Bṛ.up. 2.6.3 [Here it is clear that virāt is the disciple of Brahmā who is Hiranyagarbha. This also is in accordance with the Mundaka bhashyam cited above.]

देवलोकेषु देवलोकाः, इन्द्रलोकेषु इन्द्रलोकाः, विराट्शरीरारम्भकेषु भूतेषु प्रजापतिलोकेषु प्रजापतिलोकाः, ब्रह्मलोकेषु ब्रह्मलोका नाम — अण्डारम्भकाणि भूतानि…… Bṛ.up.3.6.1 Here too virāṭ  (prajāpati) is differentiated from Brahmā.

प्रजापतिः देवान् , स विराट् प्रजापतिः देवानसृजत ; यस्मात् सर्वमेवं क्रमेण सत्याद्ब्रह्मणो जातम्   ,Bṛ.Up.5.5.1 Here again Virāṭ, prajāpati, is shown as the progenitor of gods.

तदेतत्प्रत्यस्तमितसर्वोपाधिविशेषं सत् निरञ्जनं निर्मलं निष्क्रियं शान्तम् एकम् अद्वयं ‘नेति नेति’ (बृ. उ. ३ । ९ । २६) इति सर्वविशेषापोहसंवेद्यं सर्वशब्दप्रत्ययागोचरं तदत्यन्तविशुद्धप्रज्ञोपाधिसम्बन्धेन सर्वज्ञमीश्वरं सर्वसाधारणाव्याकृतजगद्बीजप्रवर्तकं नियन्तृत्वादन्तर्यामिसंज्ञं भवति । तदेव व्याकृतजगद्बीजभूतबुद्ध्यात्माभिमानलक्षणं हिरण्यगर्भसंज्ञं भवति । तदेव अन्तरण्डोद्भूतप्रथमशरीरोपाधिमत् विराट्प्रजापतिसंज्ञं भवति । तदुद्भूताग्न्याद्युपाधिमत् देवतासंज्ञं भवति । तथा विशेषशरीरोपाधिष्वपि ब्रह्मादिस्तम्बपर्यन्तेषु तत्तन्नामरूपलाभो ब्रह्मणः । Aitareya Up. bhāṣyam 3.5.3  This is a very important passage where the distinction across various entities is specified by the bhashyakara.  The highlighted line tallies with the Mundaka passage cited already.

प्रजापतिः विराट् कश्यपो वा, Chā.bhā 2.23.2 Here again, virāṭ is identified with prajāpati, kaśyapa. [reminds one of the kaśyapa prajāpati of the Bhāgavatam]

अधुनाग्निं स्तौति — अनन्तलोकाप्तिं स्वर्गलोकफलप्राप्तिसाधनमित्येतत् , अथो अपि प्रतिष्ठाम् आश्रयं जगतो विराट्स्वरूपेण, तम् एतम् अग्निं मयोच्यमानं विद्धि विजानीहि त्वं निहितं स्थितं गुहायाम् । Kaṭhopaniṣat bhāṣyam 1.1.14 Here the fruit of the agnividyā, an upāsana, is stated to be attainment of the position of Virāt.

इष्यते च सर्वोपनिषदां सर्वात्मैक्यप्रतिपादकत्वम् ; ततो युक्तमेवास्य आध्यात्मिकस्य पिण्डात्मनो द्युलोकाद्यङ्गत्वेन विराडात्मनाधिदैविकेनैकत्वमित्यभिप्रेत्य सप्ताङ्गत्ववचनम् । ‘मूर्धा ते व्यपतिष्यत्’ (छा. उ. ५ । १२ । २) इत्यादिलिङ्गदर्शनाच्च । विराजैकत्वमुपलक्षणार्थं हिरण्यगर्भाव्याकृतात्मनोः ।   Mandukya bhāṣya 1.3. Here the explanation of virāṭ corresponds with the Mundaka bhashya/mantra cited already.

We have the Puruṣasūkta declaring: तस्माद्विराडजायत …From him Virāṭ was born…..स जातोऽत्यरिच्यत…He became many after being born…
Sāyaṇāchārya’s commentary for some passages of the Puruṣasūkta:

I am giving the purport of the selected passages.
सर्वप्राणिसमष्टिरूपो ब्रह्माण्डदेहो विराडाख्यः यः पुरुषः सोऽयं सहस्रशीर्षो..[Virāṭ is the samaṣṭi having the body of the brahmāṇḍa  ..तस्मादादिपुरुषाद्विराडजायत ब्रह्माण्डदेह उत्पानः । The virāt is born of the Primordial Puruṣa  विविधं राजन्ते वस्तूनि अत्र इति विराट् । विराजो अधि विराड्देहस्योपरि स्थितमेव देहमधिकरणं कृत्वा पुरुषः तद्देहाभिमानी कश्चित्पुमान् अजायत । A person is born by having identificatin, abhimāna, with the Virāt-body. [That virāṭ is born, created, is admitted by Shankara too in the Mundaka and other bhāṣya-s cited above]    योऽयं सर्ववेदान्तवेद्यः परमात्मा स एव स्वकीयया मायया विराड्देहं ब्रह्माण्डं सृष्ट्वा तत्र जीवरुपेण प्रविश्य ब्रह्माण्डाभिमानी देवतात्मा जीवोऽभवत् । The Paramātman who is knowable through all the Upanishads, he alone, by his māyā, creates a virāt body, that is brahmāṇḍa, and enters that body as a jīva, became the one identifying with the brahmāṇḍa.  एतच्चाथर्वाणिका उत्तरतापनीये स्पष्टमामनन्ति – स वा एष भूतानीन्द्रियाणि विराजं देवताः कोशांश्च सृष्ट्वा प्रविश्यामूढो मूढ इव व्यवहरन्नास्ते माययैव । इति । . This is clearly stated by the Nṛsimha uttara tāpanīya Upaniṣad: He indeed created all these beings – virāt, the devatā-s and the pancha kośā-s and entering them, though himself beyond delusion, appears, out of māyā, doing his actions, as though he is deluded ..तस्य प्रजापतेः योनिं जगत्कारणरूपं वास्तवं स्वरूपं ध्रीराः धैर्यवन्तः योगेन निरुद्धेन्द्रिया महात्मानः जानन्ति । Whoever is an adept in the adhyātma sādhana, knows the true nature of the prajāpat through mind control.वेधसो विधातारः सृष्टिकर्तारः तमेवोपास्य मरीचीनां मरीच्यत्रिप्रमुखाणां महर्षीणां पदं जगदुत्पादकत्वलक्षणमिच्छन्न्ति । ..By meditation they desire to secure the position of creator that is attained by Marīchi, Atri, etc.[This idea is also present in the Shankara bhāṣya-s: that the virāṭ post is attainable by upāsana..यः परमेश्वरो देवेभ्यो देवार्थमातपति सर्वत्र प्रकाशते, देवानां देवत्वसिद्धये तत्तद्धृदयेषु चैतन्यरूपेण प्रविश्याविर्भवति ।  The Parameshvara enters the heart, mind of all the deva-s as consciousness, with a view to make them deva-s and thereby makes himself known to them. [This idea is present in the Panchadashi 10.2:
विष्ण्वाद्युत्तमदेहेषु प्रविष्टो देवताभवत् । मर्त्याद्यधमदेहेषु स्थितो भजति त्यताम् ॥ २ ॥[ 2. Entering the superior bodies like that of Vishnu, He (Brahman) became the deities; and remaining in the inferior bodies like that of men He becomes human, etc. subject to death, etc.]

Here are the points to be noted from the above passages:

Shankara’s specifying Viṣṇu-ananta as the samaṣṭi jīva in the Mundaka bhāṣya cited above as एष देवो विष्णुरनन्तः प्रथमशरीरी त्रैलोक्यदेहोपाधिः finds support in the Kaṭharudropaniṣad.

The Kaṭharudra Upaniṣad, at the beginning itself details the Sannyāsa krama. The ‘Yatidharma sangraha’ on p.19 of the pdf (by Sri Viśveśvara Saraswati, Guru of Sri Madhusūdana Saraswati 15CE) cites from this Upaniṣad:

// यज्ञोपवीतं वेदांश्च सर्वं तद्वर्जयेद्यतिः // [This is the line cited by Shankara in the Br.Up.bhāṣyam stated above] [Only smārta and madhva sannyasins follow the practice of discarding the yajñpavīta and śikhā in sannyāsa).
That the bodies such as  Viṣṇu are entities within creation is brought out by many Upaniṣads such as the Atharvaśirā/śikhā, etc. The Kaṭharudropaniṣad too says explicitly:

अस्यैवानन्दकोशेन स्तम्बान्ता विष्णुपूर्वकाः । भवन्ति सुखिनो नित्यं तारतम्यक्रमेण तु ॥ २९॥

[All (jīva-s) up to the tiniest creature, starting from Viṣṇu (instead of Brahmā) onward, always derive joy from this ānanda kośa on a relative scale depending on their status.] In the Taittiriya we have the ānanda tāratamya from the human up to Brahmā. The ānanda derived by these entities are finite and Brahman-Ānanda alone is infinite.

From the Panchadashi 10.1:

परमात्माऽद्वयानन्दपूर्णः पूर्वं स्वमायया । स्वयमेव जगद्भूत्वा प्राविशज्जीवरूपतः ॥ १ ॥

1. Before the projection of the world the Supreme Self, the secondless, all-bliss and ever complete, alone existed. Through His Maya He became the world and entered into it as the Jiva, the individual Self.

The ‘entering’ the bodies is only ‘after’ creation: तत्सृष्ट्वा तदेवानुप्राविशत् of the Taittiriya Upanishad. In this sequence, the Panchadashi says:

विष्ण्वाद्युत्तमदेहेषु प्रविष्टो देवताभवत् । मर्त्याद्यधमदेहेषु स्थितो भजति मर्त्यताम् ॥ २ ॥

2. Entering the superior bodies like that of Vishnu, He became the deities; and remaining in the inferior bodies like that of men He experiences attributes of a human, like death.

The status of Virāt is a result of a jīva-s’ karma/upāsana in an earlier life. Shankara’s bhāṣyas from other upaniṣads cited above brings out this fact. In fact a purāṇa too says that the states of viṣṇutva, etc. are attainable by karma. Also the Sāyana commentary to the Puruṣasūkta too states this. Hiraṇyagarbha and Virāt are sometimes overlapped, as can be seen in the passages cited above. This perhaps could be because the source texts like śruti and smrti could themselves be having such overlaps. In any case, both these entities Hiranyagarbha and Virāṭ are born at the beginning of creation and are posts attainable through karma-upāsana and hence are finite and do not survive mahāpralaya. The Mundaka bhāṣya is perhaps the only place where Shankara has identified Viṣṇu as the virāt, trailokyaśarīri (someone who has a śarīra is called śarīri).  Of course, just as other jīva-s like humans and animals, the prathamaśarīra/prathamaja (first born) are all in truth Nirguna Brahman alone, appearing as these due to those specific upādhi-s. The difference in such upādhi-s is attributed to difference in avidyā-kāma-karma. Anandagiri specifying at that juncture that this Viṣṇu-virāt is the self of the panchabhūta-s is also reasoned, by himself, that the virāt is that samaṣṭi jīva who has abhimāna, identification, with the totality of the gross bodies of all the jīva-s in creation. The difference between Virāt and Hiranyagarbha is that the latter is also a samaṣṭi jīva but has the abhimāna in all the subtle bodies, sūkśma śarīra (prāṇa-manas), of all the jīva-s. To reiterate, the Turiya alone is ever free of all upādhis, abhimāna, etc. and hence to be realized as oneself for liberation. And that Turiya in Advaita is nirguṇa Brahman. All deities, including Viṣṇu, are anātmā, abrahma, as stated by Shankara in the Kenopaniṣad 1.5 bhāṣya. Thus, the deity Viṣṇu is not the Parabrahman in Advaita. As stated by Shankara in the Mundaka bhāṣya, the purpose of detailing creation, with all the components, is with a view to help comprehend the Upanishadic Brahman which is Nirguṇam. The scheme is: this Nirguna Brahman alone is shown as taking so many forms such as the various jivas, the inert objects, the bhoga, etc. This is the adhyāropa-apavāda krama. Seeing the multifarious variety, the aspirant is able to appreciate that there is a cause for this huge vast expansive creation. Once the astitiva of the cause is grasped, the creation is collapsed into the Nirguna Brahman as apavāda.

Om Tat Sat

Posted by: adbhutam | July 31, 2017

AN INTERESTING ANECDOTE ON SANSKRIT USAGE

Here is an interesting anecdote on Sanskrit usage and its related application to the Mahabharata, etc.:

Read the article here:

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/advaitin/conversations/messages/69286

 

Om Tat Sat

Posted by: adbhutam | July 29, 2017

THE WORLD IS MIND ALONE: SHANKARACHARYA

The World is mind alone: Shankara
In the Mundakopanishad 2.1 is this mantra:

अग्निर्मूर्धा चक्षुषी चन्द्रसूर्यौ दिशः श्रोत्रे वाग्विवृताश्च वेदाः ।
वायुः प्राणो हृदयं विश्वमस्य पद्भ्यां पृथिवी ह्येष सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा ॥ ४ ॥

4 The heavens are His head; the sun and moon, His eyes; the quarters, His ears; the revealed Vedas, His speech; the wind is His breath; the universe, His heart. From his feet is produced the earth. He is, indeed, the inner self of all beings (pancha bhūta-s).

While explaining the part hṛdayam viśvam asya (the world is his ‘heart’), Shankara says:

हृदयम् अन्तःकरणं विश्वं समस्तं जगत् अस्य यस्येत्येतत् । सर्वं ह्यन्तःकरणविकारमेव जगत् , मनस्येव सुषुप्ते प्रलयदर्शनात् ; जागरितेऽपि तत एवाग्निविस्फुलिङ्गवद्विप्रतिष्ठानात् ।

//His hṛdayam = antaḥkaraṇam (inner organ, mind) , viśvam = the entire universe. For, the entire world is a modification of the mind, inasmuch as it is seen to merge in the mind during deep sleep, and even during the waking state it is seen to emerge out of it, like sparks out of fire, to exist.//

The important points to be noted in the above bhāṣyam are:

  1. The mantra is about the cosmic person
  2. It is an imagery where the cosmos is spoken of as various body-parts of this person
  3. The mind of this person is said to be the universe in the mantra
  4. Shankara alludes the human experience to make this point no.3
  5. He says that the world is a vikāra, modification, of the mind
  6. The reason he gives is: since it is seen, experienced, to merge in the mind during deep sleep.
  7. It is a norm in Vedanta that the layasthānam is the upādāna kāraṇam, for example, the pot, a product of clay, returns to clay when destroyed and hence is the material cause
  8. vikāra in the context of creation in Vedanta is vivarta
  9. It is on this basis the utpatti, sthiti and laya of the universe are taught to be Brahman
  10. The world emerges from the mind, upon waking
  11. The emerging of the multifarious world is akin to sparks flying out of a burning fire
  12. Incidentally this analogy of ‘sparks flying out of fire’ used in creation shruti in the Br.up. and the Mundaka itself, is regarded as an instance of the shruti admitting yugapat sṛṣṭi (simultaneous creation) as different from ‘krama sṛṣṭi’, sequential creation, as for example in ‘akāśāt vāyuḥ…’ of the Taittiriya upanishad.

It is evident that the above is an instance of jiva, who is antaḥkaraṇāvacchinnam chaitanyam (consciousness delimited by the mind), being the cause of the experienced world. In the Mandukya kārikā 2.32 bhāṣya Shankara says:

न हि मनोविकल्पनाया रज्जुसर्पादिलक्षणाया रज्ज्वां प्रलय उत्पत्तिर्वा ; न च मनसि रज्जुसर्पस्योत्पत्तिः प्रलयो वा, न चोभयतो वा । तथा मानसत्वाविशेषाद्द्वैतस्य । न हि नियते मनसि सुषुप्ते वा द्वैतं गृह्यते ; अतो मनोविकल्पनामात्रं द्वैतमिति सिद्धम् ।

// There is no origination and destruction of the rope-snake (which is just a mental concoction) in the rope. Nor is there its origination and destruction in the mind. Even so, dvaita (dvaita prapancha) is non-different from the mind. For, in the mind controlled (by meditation) or during deep sleep one does not experience dvaita (dvaita prapancha). Therefore it stands established that dvaita (dvaita prapancha) is only a mental concoction.

This mandukya bhāṣya is subsumed by the mundaka bhashya where Shankara gives the deep sleep, when the mind is dissolved, as the layasthānam of the world, prapancha, jagat. Gaudapāda and Shankara offer reiteration of the above idea in 3.31 with the help of a syllogism:

मनोदृश्यमिदं द्वैतं यत्किञ्चित्सचराचरम् ।
मनसो ह्यमनीभावे द्वैतं नैवोपलभ्यते ॥ ३१ ॥

रज्जुसर्पवद्विकल्पनारूपं द्वैतरूपेण मन एवेत्युक्तम् । तत्र किं प्रमाणमिति, अन्वयव्यतिरेकलक्षणमनुमानमाह । कथम् ? तेन हि मनसा विकल्प्यमानेन दृश्यं मनोदृश्यम् इदं द्वैतं सर्वं मन इति प्रतिज्ञा, तद्भावे भावात् तदभावे चाभावात् । मनसो हि अमनीभावे निरुद्धे विवेकदर्शनाभ्यासवैराग्याभ्यां रज्ज्वामिव सर्पे लयं गते वा सुषुप्ते द्वैतं नैवोपलभ्यत इति अभावात्सिद्धं द्वैतस्यासत्त्वमित्यर्थः ॥

It has been stated that the mind alone takes the form of the concocted dvaita just as the rope-snake is concocted. What is the basis, pramāṇa, for this? It is the anumāna, inference, of the form of anvaya-vyatireka. How? The pratijñā, claim is: the entire dvaitam is experienced as a concoction of the mind and therefore dvaitam is mind. Since in the presence of the mind, dvaitam is present and in the absence of the mind, dvaitam is absent. When the mind has been controlled by effort (in meditation) owing to discrimination and practice, just as the imagined snake merges in the rope, or during deep sleep, dvaitam is never experienced. Thus, by its absence (during meditation and deep sleep), the non-existence, asattvam, of dvaitam is established.

In the Brahmasutra bhashya commentary, the Ratnaprabhā summarizes the Vedānta siddhānta thus: सृष्टिर्दर्शनमदर्शनं लयः = perception is creation, and non-perception is destruction.

The Mundaka and the Mandukya bhāṣyam cited above demonstrate this siddhānta eminently.

Om Tat Sat

In connection with the birth Centenary Year of our Jyeshta Mahasannidhanam, His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Mahaswamiji, by His infinite Grace a 3D Holographic Video presentation on the Jagadguru was inaugurated today morning by Their Holinesses Jagadguru Sri Bharathi Theertha Mahaswamiji, Mahasannidhanam and Jagadguru Sri Vidhushekhara Bharati Mahaswamiji, Sannidhanam, at Sacchidananda Vilas, Sringeri, in the presence of the Administrator and CEO of the Math Sri V.R Gowrishankar. Their Holinesses were immensely pleased with the 3D Holography on Jyeshta Mahasannidhanam and showered their choicest blessings on Sri Vidyashankar Krishnan of MM Forgings Ltd, Chennai who had brought out the said video presentation.

In the afternoon, Sri VR Gowrishankar, Administrator, inaugurated the Holographic Presentation for public view at the Pravachana Mandiram, Sringeri amidst devotees who had assembled there. He also released two pamphlets for distribution to public during the Video presentation and wished that all those who come to the Math for darshan watch the presentation and earn the grace of the Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Mahaswamiji, the 35th Shankaracharya of the Peetham during His birth centenary.

The 20-minute 3D holographic presentation is in two languages, English and Kannada and covers rare video footages showing Jyeshtha Mahasannidhanam in Nirvikalpa samadhi, perform His Japa, deliver a short lecture and perform Sri Chandramoulesswara Puja.

The presentation is now available for public view at the Pravachana Mandiram starting from today and devotees can view it as per the timings published in the notice board kept outside the hall. Devotees who watched the presentation today in batches were heard saying that they felt as if they actually had the darshan of Jyeshta Mahasannidhanam.

(Message from Sridhar who was in Sringeri yesterday.)

While you can view the presentation on your visit to Sringeri, please inform your friends and relatives visiting Sringeri about this.

Om Tat Sat

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