Posted by: adbhutam | February 1, 2015

‘Aham ātmā Guḍākeśa….’

‘Aham Ātmā Guḍākeśa…’

(‘I am the Self, O, Arjuna..’)

In the 10th chapter of the Bhagavadgitā there is an enumeration of a sample of the vibhūti-s, glories, of Brahman. Shankara, while introducing this chapter says, among other things: तत्त्वं च भगवतो वक्तव्यम् उक्तमपि, दुर्विज्ञेयत्वात्…This chapter, while delineating some vibhūtis that are to be contemplated upon, is aimed also at specifying the Truth, tattvam, about Bhagavan, even though stated before (in the earlier chapters) since it (the Tattvam) is extremely difficult to realize.

Shankara says for the verse 10.8 – इति एवं मत्वा भजन्ते सेवन्ते मां बुधाः अवगतपरमार्थतत्त्वाः, भावसमन्विताः भावः भावना परमार्थतत्त्वाभिनिवेशः तेन समन्विताः संयुक्ताः इत्यर्थः ॥

The knowers of the Lord’s tattvam, true nature, are endowed with the knowledge of the paramārtha tattvam, in other words, that which is absolute and distinct from what meets the eye (which is vyāvahārikam).

While listing this sample, the Lord Himself says, according to Shankara, that His being the Self of all creatures in creation is His first and foremost vibhūti:

तत्र प्रथममेव तावत् शृणु —

अहमात्मा गुडाकेश सर्वभूताशयस्थितः ।
अहमादिश्च मध्यं च भूतानामन्त एव च ॥ २० ॥

English translation by Swami Gambhirananda

10.20 O Guḍākeśa, I am the Self residing in the hearts of all beings, and I am the beginning and the middle as also the end of (all) beings.

भाष्यम्

अहम् आत्मा प्रत्यगात्मा गुडाकेश, गुडाका निद्रा तस्याः ईशः गुडाकेशः, जितनिद्रः इत्यर्थः; घनकेश इति वा । सर्वभूताशयस्थितः सर्वेषां भूतानाम् आशये अन्तर्हृदि स्थितः अहम् आत्मा प्रत्यगात्मा नित्यं ध्येयः । तदशक्तेन च उत्तरेषु भावेषु चिन्त्यः अहम्; यस्मात् अहम् एव आदिः भूतानां कारणं तथा मध्यं च स्थितिः अन्तः प्रलयश्च ॥

//10.20 Guḍākeśa, O Guḍākeśa-gudaka means sleep, and īśa means master; master of that (sleep) is guḍākeśa, i.e. one who has conquered sleep; See also under 1.24.-Tr. or, one who has got thick hair; aham, I; am the atma, Self, the indwelling Self; who is to be ever-meditated on as sarva-bhūta-āśaya, āśaya-that in which are contained the impressions of meditations (upasanas), actions and past experiences.- sthitah, residing in the hearts of all beings. And, by one who is unable to do so, I am to be meditated on through the following aspects. I am capable of being meditated on (through them) because aham, I; am verily the ādih, beginning, the origin; and the madhyam, middle, continuance; ca, as also; the antah, end, dissolution; bhūtanam, of (all) beings.’I am to be meditated upon thus also:’ //

Shankara has said at the commencement that the aim of this chapter is to enable the aspirant attain the paramārtha tattva jñānam, the absolutely real knowledge, about the Lord. And the foremost vibhūti, glory, the Lord says is His existing as the innermost self of all creatures. Shankara uses here the upaniṣadic term, pratyagātmā, which is also his favorite term. This term ‘pratyagātmā’ means the Pure Consciousness that is realized as one transcending, beyond, the five sheaths, pancha kośas which are all the prakṛti-produced material coverings, superimpositions, on the ātmā. The term ‘pratyak’ is necessitated to show that it is beyond, innermost of, all the five coverings. The famous upanishadic usage of this term occurs in the Kaṭhopaniṣad:

Mantra 2.1.1:

पराञ्चि खानि व्यतृणत् स्वयंभू-.

स्तस्मात् पराङ् पश्यति नान्तरात्मन् ।

कश्चिद्धीरः प्रत्यगात्मानमैक्ष-

दावृत्तचक्षुरमृतत्वमिच्छन् ॥ १ ॥

पराञ्चि outward turned खानि sense organs व्यतृणत् damned  स्वयंभूः self-born तस्मात् therefore पराङ् outward  पश्यति knowing न not  अन्तरात्मन् the inner Self कश्चित् a rare धीरः courageous  प्रत्यगात्मानम् inner Self ऐक्षत् beheld आवृत्तचक्षुः  controlled senses अमृतत्वम् immortality इच्छन्  desiring.

Yama said: The self-born Lord forced the senses outward; hence one sees outward and not the inner self.  But a self-controlled person, desiring Immortality, beholds the inner Self with all sense organs controlled.

In Advaita, this pratyagātmā is not any deity or saguṇa entity; it is nirguṇa chaitanyam completely devoid of all material accretions. When the Lord says ‘I am the Ātmā’ in all creatures, it is the identity of the jīva-s with Him, His Self, that is nirguṇa chaitanyam. Advaita never teaches that the pratyagātmā should be known as a deity holding this or that object in his hands.

The Lord also concludes this chapter with this seminal instruction:

अथवा बहुनैतेन किं ज्ञातेन तवार्जुन ।
विष्टभ्याहमिदं कृत्स्नमेकांशेन स्थितो जगत् ॥ ४२ ॥

10.42 Or, on the other hand, what is the need of your knowing this extensively, O Arjuna? I remain sustaining this whole creation in a special way with a part (of Myself).

भाष्यम्

अथवा बहुना एतेन एवमादिना किं ज्ञातेन तव अर्जुन स्यात् सावशेषेण । अशेषतः त्वम् उच्यमानम् अर्थं शृणु — विष्टभ्य विशेषतः स्तम्भनं दृढं कृत्वा इदं कृत्स्नं जगत् एकांशेन एकावयवेन एकपादेन, सर्वभूतस्वरूपेण इत्येतत्; तथा च मन्त्रवर्णः — ‘पादोऽस्य विश्वा भूतानि’ (ऋ. १०-८-९०-३) इति; स्थितः अहम् इति ॥

//10.42 Athava, or, on the other hand; kim, what is the need; of tava jnatena, your knowing; etena bahuna, this extensively – but incompletely-in the above manner, O Arjuna? You listen to this subject that is going to be stated in its fullness: Aham, I; sthitah, remain; vistabhya, sustaining, supporting, holding firmly, in a special way; idam, this; krtsnam, whole; jagat, creation; ekāmśena, by a part, by a foot. The Universe is called a foot of His by virtue of His having the limiting adjunct of being its efficient and material cause. (of Myself), i.e. as the Self of all things, as the material and the efficient cause of all things. The Vedic text, ‘All beings form a foot of His’ (Rg., Pu. Su. 10.90.3; Tai. Ar. 3.12.3) support this. //

Anandagiri, in the gloss to the above bhāṣya of Shankara says:

तदनेन भगवतो नानाविधा विभूतीर्ध्येयत्वेन ज्ञेयत्वेन चोपदिश्यन्ते। सर्वप्रपञ्चात्मकं ध्येयं रूपं दर्शयित्वा ‘त्रिपादस्यामृतं दिवि’ इति प्रपञ्चाधिकं निरुपाधिकं तत्त्वमुपदिशता परिपूर्णसच्चिदानन्दैकतानस्तत्पदलक्ष्योऽर्थो निर्धारितः।

//A Form constituted by the whole of creation has been presented in this chapter for meditation. Thereby the unqualified transcendental Reality, implied by the word tat (in tattva-masi) and referred to by the latter portion of the Commentator’s quotation (viz tripādasyāmṛtam divi: The immortal three-footed One is established in His own effulgence), becomes established.//

‘the unqualified transcendental Reality’ in Advaita means nirguṇa chaitanyam, Turiya, nirviśeṣa Brahman, etc.

Incidentally, Anandagiri is giving the Advaitic view of the Transcendental Reality, indicated by the Rg.vedic mantra ‘pādo’sya…’. That is, that which transcends untouched, the creation, is nirupādhika tattvam, and not any deity with upādhis. That means, all those worlds, including divine lokas such as vaikunṭha, are within the created category and subject to destruction, according to the Advaitic view of the ‘transcendental reality’ above the created one-pāda of Brahman. Such lokas have no being in the nirupādhka realm.  The Lord teaches in this chapter that He is the Atmā of the jivas and also the Ātmā of the created world. The Ātmā of the jivās and the created world is the one and the same Nirupādhika Chaitanyam and not any deity with form, hands, resident of a loka, etc. This is the way the famous ‘tattvamasi’ is commented upon by Shankara in the Chandogya Upaniṣad 6.8.7 (where the maḥavākya ‘tat tvam asi’ occurs for the first time:

येन च आत्मना आत्मवत्सर्वमिदं जगत्, तदेव सदाख्यं कारणं सत्यं परमार्थसत् । अतः स एव आत्मा जगतः प्रत्यक्स्वरूपं सतत्त्वं याथात्म्यम्, आत्मशब्दस्य निरुपपदस्य प्रत्यगात्मनि गवादिशब्दवत् निरूढत्वात् । अतः तत् सत् त्वमसीति हे श्वेतकेतो…

[The Self by which the entire universe becomes endowed with a true content, that lone is the Cause, Real, Paramārtha sat (Absolute Reality) called ‘Sat’. (Thereby the vyavaharika sat is dispensed with as unreal, relative, effect.). Therefore, that Sat alone is the Ātmā, Self, the innermost essence, the reality ‘as-it-is.’ The word ‘Atman’ with no prefix, is established in the innermost self (pratyagātmā)…..Therefore That Sat art thou, O Śvetaketu….]

One can see the close correspondence between the above Chāndogya bhāṣya with the BG verse/bhāṣya that is under consideration.

Here is why a saguna Brahman, Ishwara, or any deity cannot be the Self of all the jiva-s:

In the Kenopanisad 1.5 bhashyam we have this crucial teaching:

आत्मानमेव निर्विशेषं ब्रह्म विद्धीति एवशब्दार्थः । नेदं ब्रह्म यदिदम् इत्युपाधिभेदविशिष्टमनात्मेश्वरादि उपासते ध्यायन्ति । तदेव ब्रह्म त्वं विद्धि इत्युक्तेऽपि नेदं ब्रह्म इत्यनात्मनोऽब्रह्मत्वं पुनरुच्यते नियमार्थम् अन्यब्रह्मबुद्धिपरिसंख्यानार्थं वा ॥

[The word ‘Eva’ in the mantra (tadeva brahma tvam viddhi) is to teach that one should realize the nirguṇa Brahman as one’s Atman alone. That which is meditated upon as ‘this’ (idam) which is qualified by the difference caused by upādhi, which entities such as Ishwara, etc. that are anātman, not-self, are not Brahman. The Upanishad, even after having said ‘tadeva brahma tvam viddhi’ is emphasizing by saying ‘that which is meditated upon such as Ishwara, etc. as ‘this’, is anātman and not Brahman.’ Therefore, the BG 10.20 ‘Atman’, if it is held the Saguṇa Brahman, is only anātman, not-self, and is not even Brahman. In effect, if Krishna were to be understood as teaching that he, the saguṇa deity, is the Atman in every being, then he will be rendering himself abrahman, anātmā, as per the Kenopanishad and bhāṣyam.]

In the Adhyāsa bhāṣya, preamble to the Brahmasutra bhāṣya, Shankara says:

एवमहंप्रत्ययिनमशेषस्वप्रचारसाक्षिणि प्रत्यगात्मन्यध्यस्य तं च प्रत्यगात्मानं सर्वसाक्षिणं तद्विपर्ययेणान्तःकरणादिष्वध्यस्यति ।

Here too he gives the clear meaning of the term pratyagātmā: it is the witness of everything. No one superimposes a deity on the mind, etc.

In the sequel several passages from the prasthānatraya bhāṣya are given to drive home the idea that the term ‘pratyagātmā’ is non-different from Brahman/Paramātmā, that it is nirupādhika chaitanyam and not any sopādhika, saguṇa deity. Readers may look up the appropriate translations as the complete translation is not being provided here except a gist of the passage cited:

ब्रह्मसूत्रभाष्यम् । प्रथमः अध्यायः । प्रथमः पादः । प्रतर्दनाधिकरणम् । सूत्रम् २९ – भाष्यम् (BSB 1.1.29)

इति विषयेन्द्रियव्यवहारानाभिभूतं प्रत्यगात्मानमेवोपसंहरति । ‘स म आत्मेति विद्यात्’ इति चोपसंहारः प्रत्यगात्मपरिग्रहे साधुः, न पराचीनपरिग्रहे । ‘अयमात्मा ब्रह्म सर्वानुभूः’ (बृ. उ. २-५-१९) इति च श्रुत्यन्तरम् । तस्मादध्यात्मसम्बन्धबाहुल्याद्ब्रह्मोपदेश एवायम्, न देवतात्मोपदेशः ॥ २९ ॥

[Indra, a Jnāni, teaches the Atmavidya to Pratardana and says: ‘Know that as My Atma’. Here, by the term ‘my’ it is the innermost self that is meant and not any other external object. ]

ब्रह्मसूत्रभाष्यम् । प्रथमः अध्यायः । द्वितीयः पादः । अन्तर्याम्यधिकरणम् । सूत्रम् २० – भाष्यम् BSB 1.2.20

अविद्याप्रत्युपस्थापितकार्यकरणोपाधिनिमित्तोऽयं शारीरान्तर्यामिणोर्भेदव्यपदेशः, न पारमार्थिकः । एको हि प्रत्यगात्मा भवति, न द्वौ प्रत्यगात्मानौ सम्भवतः । एकस्यैव तु भेदव्यवहार उपाधिकृतः, यथा घटाकाशो महाकाश इति ।

[This is a crucial teaching of what/who really is the Anataryāmi. The difference in specifying the jīva and antaryāmi as different entities is owing to the avidya-caused body-mind upādhi, and such a difference is not absolute. One pratyagātmā alone can be there, and no two pratyagātmās are possible. (Therefore, the BG 10.20 teaching of ‘I am the Atmā of all beings’ can only mean non-difference between the Instructing Lord and the beings. And such non-difference negates all upādhis that can distinguish the Lord as a deity, consort of so and so, resident of such and such loka, etc.) The essence of the above BSB is: the antaryāmi is non-different from the pratyagātmā, pure consciousness, and not any saguṇa entity.]

ब्रह्मसूत्रभाष्यम् । तृतीयः अध्यायः । द्वितीयः पादः । प्रकृतैतावत्त्वाधिकरणम् । सूत्रम् २२ – भाष्यम् BSB 3.2.22

समस्तस्य विषयजातस्य प्रतिषेधात् अविषयः प्रत्यगात्मा ब्रह्मेति, जिज्ञासा निवर्तते । तस्मात् प्रपञ्चमेव ब्रह्मणि कल्पितं प्रतिषेधति, परिशिनष्टि ब्रह्म — इति निर्णयः ॥

[Since the entire objective world is negated, the pratyagātmā is a non-object; ever-subject, which is Brahman. The equation Atma = Brahman can happen only when the Lord-upādhis are negated. Hence the Atma of BG 10.20 is not any saguṇa deity and since saguṇa deity is an object, viṣaya, anātmā, abrahman, can never be the self of all.]

ब्रह्मसूत्रभाष्यम् । चतुर्थः अध्यायः । प्रथमः पादः । आवृत्यधिकरणम् । सूत्रम् २ – भाष्यम् BSB 4.1.2

तथा त्वंपदार्थोऽपि प्रत्यगात्मा श्रोता देहादारभ्य प्रत्यगात्मतया सम्भाव्यमानः चैतन्यपर्यन्तत्वेनावधारितः

[The entity meant by the word ‘tvam’ (of ‘tat tvam asi’) is the pratyagātmā, who is the one instructed, is to be realized by negating all the adjuncts such as the body and culminating in the pure consciousness.]

काठकोपनिषद्भाष्यम् । द्वितीयोऽध्यायः । चतुर्थी वल्ली । मन्त्रः १ – भाष्यम् (Kaṭhopanishad 2.1.1)

प्रत्यगात्मानं प्रत्यक् चासावात्मा चेति प्रत्यगात्मा । प्रतीच्येवात्मशब्दो रूढो लोके, नान्यत्र । व्युत्पत्तिपक्षेऽपि तत्रैवात्मशब्दो वर्तते ; ‘यच्चाप्नोति यदादत्ते यच्चात्ति विषयानिह । यच्चास्य सन्ततो भावयस्तस्मादात्मेति कीर्त्यते’ ; इत्यात्मशब्दव्युत्पत्तिस्मरणात् । तं प्रत्यगात्मानं स्वस्वभावम् ऐक्षत् अपश्यत् पश्यतीत्यर्थः, छन्दसि कालानियमात् ।

[That which is innermost is the pratyagātmā. The word ‘Atmā’ is applicable only in the innermost being and nowhere else. The determined aspirant succeeded in gaining the pratyagātman which is his very nature, sva-svabhāvam. (Surely the saguṇa Brahman can never be the sva-svabhāva of the jiva. The kenopaniśat and bhāṣya teach that Iśwara, etc. which are meditated upon as ‘this’ constitute anātma, abrahma and therefore not the Atma.)]

काठकोपनिषद्भाष्यम् । द्वितीयोऽध्यायः । षष्ठी वल्ली । मन्त्रः ७ – भाष्यम् Kaṭha 2.3.7

यस्मात्प्रत्यगात्मा स सर्वस्य ; [Hence Brahman is the pratyagātmā of everyone. (similar to the BG 10.20 teaching of the mahāvākya)]

बृहदारण्यकोपनिषद्भाष्यम् । द्वितीयोऽध्यायः । प्रथमं ब्राह्मणम् । मन्त्रः २० – भाष्यम् Br.up.bh.2.1.20

सर्वश्रुतिषु च ब्रह्मणि आत्मशब्दप्रयोगात् आत्मशब्दस्य च प्रत्यगात्माभिधायकत्वात्, ‘एष सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा’ (मु. उ. २-१-४) इति च श्रुतेः परमात्मव्यतिरेकेण संसारिणोऽभावात् — ‘एकमेवाद्वितीयम्’ (छा. उ. ६-२-१) ‘ब्रह्मैवेदम्’ (मु. उ. २-२-११) ‘आत्मैवेदम्’ (छा. उ. ७-२५-२) इत्यादिश्रुतिभ्यः युक्तमेव अहं ब्रह्मास्मीत्यवधारयितुम् ॥

[In all the Upanishads the word ‘Ātman’ is used in the sense of Brahman, and the word ‘Atman’ refers to the pratyagātman. (hence the BG 10.20 word atman is also referring to Brahman and pratyagātman since the BG is not differing from the shrutis.) and there is no jiva apart from the Paramatman.

बृहदारण्यकोपनिषद्भाष्यम् । द्वितीयोऽध्यायः । चतुर्थं ब्राह्मणम् Br.up.2.4

‘तदात्मानमेवावेदहं ब्रह्मास्मीति तस्मात्तत्सर्वमभवत्’ (बृ. उ. १-४-१०) इति ; एवं प्रत्यगात्मा ब्रह्मविद्याया विषय इत्येतत् उपन्यस्तम् । [The pratyagātmā is the subject matter of the upanishadic brahmavidyā. This is because it is by knowing oneself, the pratyagātmā, as Brahman that one realizes his nature of Self-of-all. Such a realization does not have a saguṇa Brahman for its subject matter/content].

बृहदारण्यकोपनिषद्भाष्यम् । द्वितीयोऽध्यायः । पञ्चमं ब्राह्मणम् । मन्त्रः १९ – भाष्यम् Br.up.2.5.19

यः प्रत्यगात्मा द्रष्टा, श्रोता मन्ता बोद्धा, विज्ञाता सर्वानुभूः — सर्वात्मना सर्वमनुभवतीति सर्वानुभूः — इत्येतदनुशासनम् सर्ववेदान्तोपदेशः ; एष सर्ववेदान्तानामुपसंहृतोऽर्थः ; एतदमृतमभयम् ; परिसमाप्तश्च शास्त्रार्थः ॥

[The pratyagātmā is realized as the universal experiencer. This is the Upanishadic commandment. If the jiva’s ātman is a saguṇa Brahman, the realizing jiva will not know himself as the universal experience.]

बृहदारण्यकोपनिषद्भाष्यम् । चतुर्थोऽध्यायः । चतुर्थं ब्राह्मणम् । मन्त्रः १३ – भाष्यम् Br.up.4.4.13

स उ लोक एव ; लोकशब्देन आत्मा उच्यते ; तस्य सर्व आत्मा, स च सर्वस्यात्मेत्यर्थः । य एष ब्राह्मणेन प्रत्यगात्मा प्रतिबुद्धतया अनुवित्तः आत्मा अनर्थसङ्कटे गहने प्रविष्टः, स न संसारी, किं तु पर एव ; यस्मात् विश्वस्य कर्ता सर्वस्य आत्मा, तस्य च सर्व आत्मा । एक एवाद्वितीयः पर एवास्मीत्यनुसन्धातव्य इति श्लोकार्थः ॥

[The word ‘loka’ in the mantra means ‘Atmā’ This Atmā is the Self of all. It is this universal Atmā that is taught here as the pratyagātmā, as is the Supreme. The saguṇa Brahman is not the Supreme because it is kārya Brahman in Advaita. Kārya is an effect, subject to destruction during pralaya.]

बृहदारण्यकोपनिषद्भाष्यम् । चतुर्थोऽध्यायः । चतुर्थं ब्राह्मणम् । मन्त्रः १८ – भाष्यम् Br.up.4.4.18

चक्षुरादिव्यापारानुमितास्तित्वं प्रत्यगात्मानम्, न विषयभूतम् ये विदुः — ते निचिक्युः निश्चयेन ज्ञातवन्तः ब्रह्म, पुराणं चिरन्तनम्, अग्र्यम् अग्रे भवम् । ‘तद्यदात्मविदो विदुः’ (मु. उ. २-२-१०) इति ह्याथर्वणे ॥

[The existence of pratyagātma is inferred from the activity of the senses. The pratyagātmā is never an object. (whereas the saguṇa Brahman is not the pratyagātmā and is an object for the devotee). This realization frees one from bondage.]

छान्दोग्योपनिषद्भाष्यम् । अष्टमोऽध्यायः । द्वादशः खण्डः । मन्त्रः १ – भाष्यम् Ch.up.8.12.1

तथा भूम्नि ‘अहमेव’ (छा. उ. ७-२५-२) इत्यादिश्य ‘आत्मैवेदं सर्वम्’ इति नोपसमहरिष्यत्, यदि भूमा जीवादन्योऽभविष्यत्, ‘नान्योऽतोऽस्ति द्रष्टा’ (बृ. उ. ३-७-२३) इत्यादिश्रुत्यन्तराच्च । सर्वश्रुतिषु च परस्मिन्नात्मशब्दप्रयोगो नाभविष्यत् प्रत्यगात्मा चेत्सर्वजन्तूनां पर आत्मा न भवेत् । तस्मादेक एव आत्मा प्रकरणी सिद्धः ॥

[Had the Bhūman (Infinite Brahman) were not identical with the jīva, the upaniṣad would not have concluded by declaring the universal-selfhood by the words ‘I am myself…’. In all the upaniṣads the word ‘Atmā’ would not have been fixed on the Supreme if the pratyagātmā were not the Paramātman of all beings. (In BG 10.20 if the ‘Atman’ of all beings is the saguṇa Brahman, there is no way the jiva can be identical with the Bhūman, as taught in all the Upanishads, as above.)

केनोपनिषत् वाक्य​भाष्य​म् । द्वितीयः खण्डः । मन्त्रः ४ – भाष्यम् Kenopaniṣad 2.4

तस्मात्प्रतिबोधावभासप्रत्यगात्मतया यद्विदितं तद्ब्रह्म, तदेव मतं तदेव सम्यग्ज्ञानं यत्प्रत्यगात्मविज्ञानम्, न विषयविज्ञानम् । आत्मत्वेन ‘प्रत्यगात्मानमैक्षत्’ (क. उ. २-१-१) इति च काठके ।

[Brahman is realized through the method of the illumining of every experience by the pratyagātman and that alone is the correct knowledge/realization which has the pratyagātman for its content, but not any objective knowledge.]

श्रीमद्भगवद्गीताभाष्यम् । द्वितीयोऽध्यायः । श्लोक ६१ – भाष्यम् BGB 2.61

अहं वासुदेवः सर्वप्रत्यगात्मा परो यस्य सः मत्परः, ‘न अन्योऽहं तस्मात्’ इति आसीत इत्यर्थः ।

In Advaita the aspirant-jiva’s non-difference from ‘Vāsudeva’ can never happen if that Vāsudeva were a deity, Lakshmipati, resident of Vaikunṭha. This is because the deity, even if it is endowed with shuddha sattva upādhis can never be the Atmā of all, as it will always remain anātmā, abrahma, not pratyagātma, as taught by the kenopanishad and bhāṣya. The word ‘Vāsudeva’ has an etymological meaning which will never make it a deity but the Nirguna Tattvam which is the vivartopādāna for the entire creation.

श्रीमद्भगवद्गीताभाष्यम् । सप्तमोऽध्यायः । श्लोक १९ – भाष्यम् BGB 7.10

बहूनां जन्मनां ज्ञानार्थसंस्काराश्रयाणाम् अन्ते समाप्तौ ज्ञानवान् प्राप्तपरिपाकज्ञानः मां वासुदेवं प्रत्यगात्मानं प्रत्यक्षतः प्रपद्यते । कथम् ? वासुदेवः सर्वम् इति । यः एवं सर्वात्मानं मां नारायणं प्रतिपद्यते, सः महात्मा ; न तत्समः अन्यः अस्ति, अधिको वा ।

Here too, the Vāsudeva/Nārāyaṇa cannot be the deity qualified by the consort of Lakshmi, resident of Vaikuntha, etc.

श्रीमद्भगवद्गीताभाष्यम् । चतुर्दशोऽध्यायः । श्लोक २७ – भाष्यम् BGB 14.27

ब्रह्मणः परमात्मनः हि यस्मात् प्रतिष्ठा अहं प्रतितिष्ठति अस्मिन् इति प्रतिष्ठा अहं प्रत्यगात्मा । कीदृशस्य ब्रह्मणः? अमृतस्य अविनाशिनः अव्ययस्य अविकारिणः शाश्वतस्य च नित्यस्य धर्मस्य धर्मज्ञानस्य ज्ञानयोगधर्मप्राप्यस्य सुखस्य आनन्दरूपस्य ऐकान्तिकस्य अव्यभिचारिणः अमृतादिस्वभावस्य परमानन्दरूपस्य परमात्मनः प्रत्यगात्मा प्रतिष्ठा, सम्यग्ज्ञानेन परमात्मतया निश्चीयते । तदेतत् ‘ब्रह्मभूयाय कल्पते’ (भ. गी. १४-२६) इति उक्तम् ।

[He who realizes himself as the pratyagātmā of Paramātma, through right knowledge is the one who is verily Brahman, as taught in 14.26 which is:

मां च योऽव्यभिचारेण भक्तियोगेन सेवते ।
स गुणान्समतीत्यैतान्ब्रह्मभूयाय कल्पते ॥ २६ ॥

भाष्यम्

मां च ईश्वरं नारायणं सर्वभूतहृदयाश्रितं यो यतिः कर्मी वा अव्यभिचारेण न कदाचित् यो व्यभिचरति भक्तियोगेन भजनं भक्तिः सैव योगः तेन भक्तियोगेन सेवते, सः गुणान् समतीत्य एतान् यथोक्तान् ब्रह्मभूयाय, भवनं भूयः, ब्रह्मभूयाय ब्रह्मभवनाय मोक्षाय कल्पते समर्थो भवति इत्यर्थः ॥

He who realizes as ‘I am non-different from Ishwara, Nārāyaṇa, the pratyagātmā in all beings is the one who is verily Brahman.]

The above passages were cited to dispel the erroneous ideas that ‘the Lord who says that He is the Ātmā in all beings is the saguṇa Brahman (BG 10.20)’ and that ‘Vāsudeva, a deity with shuddha sattva upādhis is the self-of-all’ as they are fraught with several defects, the chief among them being: it contradicts the shruti teaching of ‘I am Brahman’-realization on the part of the aspirant. The other glaring defect is that such a saguṇa Brahman, an object, will be a-brahman, anātmā, as taught by the Kenopanishad/bhāṣyam. That alone is Brahman which is not an object for the aspirant, but the very subject, aviṣaya, pratyagātman.  Krishna and Vāsudeva, if they are deities, will be meditatable as someone ‘other than the meditator’, ‘idam’ and never ‘aham’.  That is what is pointed out by the Kena bhāṣyam. The word ‘pratyagātman’ in the BGB 10.20 is what dispels the erroneous ideas stated above.   It is in order to bring out the deep and far-reaching import of the concept of the upaniṣadic ‘pratyagātman’ that the several passages of the prasthānatraya bhāṣyam were enumerated.

Om Tat Sat


Responses

  1. Some of my thoughts recorded earlier – http://prasad-yoga.blogspot.in/2010/05/beginning-middle-and-ending-of-all.html

  2. The Antaryami Amrtah is also dealt with͵ in the Kahola Braahmanam in Brih. Upanishad. Here in͵ in the Bhaashyam to this and the next Braahmanam͵ the delienation between Ishwara (Antaryaami) and Nirguna Parabrahman (Ota-Protah) is made clearly.

    • Thank you Hari for the input.

      adbhutam


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