Posted by: adbhutam | January 3, 2015

Atman, verily Brahman, is Ever Established

In the Brahmasūtra bhāṣya for the very first sutra, Shankara says:

सर्वस्यात्मत्वाच्च ब्रह्मास्तित्वप्रसिद्धिः । सर्वो ह्यात्मास्तित्वं प्रत्येति, न ‘नाहमस्मि’ इति । यदि हि नात्मास्तित्वप्रसिद्धिः स्यात्, सर्वो लोकः ‘नाहमस्मि’ इति प्रतीयात् । आत्मा च ब्रह्म ।

Brahman is well known since It is the Self of all. Everyone experiences oneself to be existing and no one thinks ‘I do not exist’.  If the existence of oneself is not well known everyone would experience that one is  non-existent, ‘I am not’.  (This) Atman is Brahman.

Shankara bases this on the strength of the Taittiriya upanishad definition of Brahman as ‘Satyam (Existence), Jnanam (Consciousness), Anantam (Infinite) Brahma’.  The word Satyam is the one that is especially important in the above words of Shankara.

Quite interestingly, in the Srimadbhāgavatam, in the sequence where Prahlada instructs his fellow-pupils, the very same point covered above is seen:

7.6.19
na hy acyutaḿ prīṇayato bahvāyāso ‘surātmajāḥ

ātmatvāt sarvabhūtānāḿ siddhatvād iha sarvataḥ

na — not; hi — indeed; acyutam — the infallible Supreme Personality of Godhead; prīṇayataḥ — satisfying; bahu — much; āyāsaḥ — endeavor; asuraātmajāḥO sons of demons; ātmatvāt — because of being intimately related as the Supersoul; sarvabhūtānām — of all living entities; siddhatvāt — because of being established; ihain this world; sarvataḥin all directions, in all times and from all angles of vision.

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 7.6.20-23parāvareṣu bhūteṣu brahmānta-sthāvarādiṣu

bhautikeṣu vikāreṣu bhūteṣv atha mahatsu ca

guṇeṣu guṇasāmye ca guṇavyatikare tathā

eka eva paro hy ātmā bhagavān īśvaro ‘vyayaḥ

pratyagātmasvarūpeṇa dṛśyarūpeṇa ca svayam

vyāpyavyāpaka-nirdeśyo hy anirdeśyo ‘vikalpitaḥ

kevalānubhavānanda-svarūpaḥ parameśvaraḥ

māyayāntarhitaiśvarya īyate guṇasargayā

paraavareṣuin exalted or hellish conditions of life; bhūteṣuin the living beings; brahmaanta — ending with Lord Brahmā; sthāvaraādiṣu — beginning with the nonmoving forms of life, the trees and plants; bhautikeṣu — of the material elements; vikāreṣuin the transformations; bhūteṣuin the five gross elements of material nature; atha — moreover; mahatsuin the mahattattva, the total material energy; ca — also; guṇeṣuin the modes of material nature; guṇasāmyein an equilibrium of material qualities; ca — and; guṇavyatikarein the uneven manifestation of the modes of material nature; tathāas well; ekaḥ — one; eva — only; paraḥ — transcendental; hi — indeed; ātmā — the original source; bhagavān — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; īśvaraḥ — the controller; avyayaḥ — without deteriorating; pratyak — inner; ātmasvarūpeṇa — by His original constitutional position as the Supersoul; dṛśyarūpeṇa — by His visible forms; ca — also; svayam — personally; vyāpya — pervaded; vyāpaka — all-pervading; nirdeśyaḥto be described; hi — certainly; anirdeśyaḥ — not to be described (because of fine, subtle existence); avikalpitaḥ — without differentiation; kevala — only; anubhavaānandasvarūpaḥ — whose form is blissful and full of knowledge; paramaīśvaraḥ — the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the supreme ruler; māyayā — by māyā, the illusory energy; antarhita — covered; aiśvaryaḥ — whose unlimited opulence; īyate — is mistaken as; guṇasargayā — the interaction of the material modes of nature.

This particular expression in the above verse is also completely reflected in the Shānkaran bhashyas:

// pratyagātmasvarūpeṇa  dṛśyarūpeṇa ca svayam…//

That One Supreme Being alone is available as the Atman of all and everything that is experienced as dṛśya, the seen.  Therefore, the dṛk and the dṛśya  are both the Self alone, implying the sarvam khalvidam brahma theme: (This) Atman is Brahman.// found in the above cited BSB.

This word of the bhagavatam cited above //siddhatvād // too is significantly present in the Taittiriya bhāṣya 1.11.4

नित्यसिद्धात्मदर्शिनः [Those who have the realization of the ever-established Atman.]

The following Brahma sutra bhashya sentences too are about the ‘siddha vastu’ that the Self, that is Brahman is:

BSB 1.1.2:

किन्तु श्रुत्यादयोऽनुभवादयश्च यथासम्भवमिह प्रमाणम्, अनुभवावसानत्वात् भूतवस्तुविषयत्वाच्च ब्रह्मज्ञानस्य

Shruti, etc. and anubhava, etc. are pranāṇa here, as the context demands.  This is because the quest for knowledge culminates in one’s experience of the ever existing Brahman, which alone is the subject matter of that knowledge/experience.

BSB  3.4.52:

तद्धि असाध्यं नित्यसिद्धस्वभावमेव विद्यया अधिगम्यत इत्यसकृदवादिष्म ।

That (liberation) indeed is incapable of being produced since It is of the nature of being Ever Established.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: