Posted by: adbhutam | February 5, 2015

THE ‘MADHU VIDYĀ’ – THE NIRGUṆA BRAHMAN

In the following URL the blogger makes a yet another desperate attempt to promote his pet theory of ‘for Shankara the saguna brahman is Vishnu’:

http://narayanastra.blogspot.in/2012/01/saguna-brahman-and-krama-mukti-in_51.html

 

//Also, take a look at Shankara’s explanation for “mAdhavaH”. He says that the being who is the Husband of shrI/mA/lakShmI is the Being who is to be known through the Upanishadic madhuvidyA. What more is needed for a neutral reader to be convinced that the Upanishadic Saguna Brahman is none but Lakshmipati for Shankara?//

 

The blogger is completely wrong. The Madhuvidyā (Br.up.2.5..) is nowhere teaching a saguna Brahman called Vishnu or Mādhava.  It is a teaching culminating in the realization of the sarvātmabhāva of/by the aspirant just as the Br.up.1.4.10 (aham brahmasmi).  Here is Shankara categorically stating that for the mantra 2.5.15:

 

एवं सर्वभूतात्मा विद्वान् ब्रह्मवित् मुक्तो भवति । यदुक्तम् — ‘ब्रह्मविद्यया सर्वं भविष्यन्तो मनुष्या मन्यन्ते, किमु तद्ब्रह्मावेद्यस्मात्तत्सर्वमभवत्’ (बृ. उ. १-४-९) इतीदम्, तत् व्याख्यातम् एवम् — आत्मानमेव सर्वात्मत्वेन आचार्यागमाभ्यां श्रुत्वा, मत्वा तर्कतः, विज्ञाय साक्षात् एवम्, यथा मधुब्राह्मणे दर्शितं तथा — तस्मात् ब्रह्मविज्ञानात् एवँलक्षणात् पूर्वमपि, ब्रह्मैव सत् अविद्यया अब्रह्म आसीत्, सर्वमेव च सत् असर्वमासीत् — तां तु अविद्याम् अस्माद्विज्ञानात् तिरस्कृत्य ब्रह्मवित् ब्रह्मैव सन् ब्रह्माभवत्, सर्वः सः सर्वमभवत् । परिसमाप्तः शास्त्रार्थः, यदर्थः प्रस्तुतः ; तस्मिन् एतस्मिन् सर्वात्मभूते ब्रह्मविदि सर्वात्मनि सर्वं जगत्समर्पितमित्येतस्मिन्नर्थे दृष्टान्त उपादीयते — तद्यथा रथनाभौ च रथनेमौ चाराः सर्वे समर्पिता इति, प्रसिद्धोऽर्थः, एवमेव अस्मिन् आत्मनि परमात्मभूते ब्रह्मविदि सर्वाणि भूतानि ब्रह्मादिस्तम्बपर्यन्तानि सर्वे देवाः अग्न्यादयः सर्वे लोकाः भूरादयः सर्वे प्राणाः वागादयः सर्व एत आत्मानो जलचन्द्रवत् प्रतिशरीरानुप्रवेशिनः अविद्याकल्पिताः ; सर्वं जगत् अस्मिन्समर्पितम् । यदुक्तम्, ब्रह्मवित् वामदेवः प्रतिपेदे — अहं मनुरभवं सूर्यश्चेति, स एष सर्वात्मभावो व्याख्यातः । स एष विद्वान् ब्रह्मवित् सर्वोपाधिः सर्वात्मा सर्वो भवति ; निरुपाधिः निरुपाख्यः अनन्तरः अबाह्यः कृत्स्नः प्रज्ञानघनः अजोऽजरोऽमृतोऽभयोऽचलः नेति नेत्यस्थूलोऽनणुरित्येवंविशेषणः भवति ।

 

Shankara makes it crystal clear that this madhuvidyā is a teaching culminating in the aspirant realizing himself as the Nirupādhika Brahman.  All the epithets the Upanishads use to describe the Nirguna Brahman, Shankara avers that the aspirant realizes himself to be. Nowhere does Shankara says that the aspirant realizes that he is the husband of Lakshmi.  Not realizing this,the bloggers jump to a silly conclusion that this vidyā is about Vishnu, the saguna Brahman.  Shankara says that the word ‘Mādhava’ occurring as the 72nd name (the name occurs also as 167th and 735th in the VS) means: Mādhava is the consort of śrīḥ.  Alternatively, Shankara says, this word means that which is realized through the Madhuvidyā: ‘madhuvidyāvabodhyatvād mādhavaḥ.’  While the first meaning refers to the person-deity,  the second one is decidedly nirguṇa.  That is what is known from the above Br.up.Bhashya. In advaita the realization of the Truth leading to moksha is not of the saguna entity but the Nirguna Brahman, as oneself, non-different from It.  This is not possible with the Lakshmipati Mādhava  and never taught in the Shankaran advaita. In the Kenopanishad bhashya Shankara has stated that ‘that which is meditated as ‘this’, that is, something ‘other’ than the meditator, is anātmā, abrahma.’  Since the Lakshmipati Madhava is of this category, it can never be the subject matter of the Madhuvidyā, which is Atmavidyā, Brahmavidyā.

The blogger, trying to hoodwink the gullible reader, and being ignorant of simple Sanskrit, is glossing over the ‘vā’ in the VS bhāṣya of Shankara. Shankara gives a third interpretation too to the word ‘mādhavaḥ’ there itself, by citing a Mahabharata verse.  This third interpretation is also decidedly Advaitic Nirguṇa Brahman, as taught by the Kathopaniṣat adhyātma yoga and Shankara’s commentary thereon.

Time and again the bloggers prove that they have no idea of Vedanta and the Shankara Bhashyas.  Having not studied under sampradaya Acharyas they misinterpret the Vedanta and the Advaita bhashyas without even equipping  themselves with basic Sanskrit language.


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