Posted by: adbhutam | September 6, 2017

‘MADYĀJĪ’, ‘ĀTMAYĀJĪ’, ‘VĀSUDEVA’, ETC.

‘MADYĀJĪ’, ‘ĀTMAYĀJĪ’, ‘VĀSUDEVA’, ETC.

In the Bhagavadgītā  9th chapter we have the words of the Lord:

येऽपि अन्यदेवताभक्तिमत्त्वेन अविधिपूर्वकं यजन्ते, तेषामपि यागफलं अवश्यंभावि । कथम् ? —

यान्ति देवव्रता देवान्पितॄन्यान्ति पितृव्रताः ।
भूतानि यान्ति भूतेज्या यान्ति मद्याजिनोऽपि माम् ॥ २५ ॥ 9.25

Those who intently worship the gods attain to them and those, the pitṛs, reach them. Those worshiping spirits get them and those worshiping Me attain to Me.
Shankara says, for the last part:
यान्ति मद्याजिनः मद्यजनशीलाः वैष्णवाः मामेव यान्ति । समाने अपि आयासे मामेव न भजन्ते अज्ञानात् , तेन ते अल्पफलभाजः भवन्ति इत्यर्थः ॥ २५ ॥
Those who are adepts in worshiping Me, vaiṣṇavas, attain Me alone. Even though the effort exerted in worshiping the other gods, etc. and Me is the same, yet they do not worship Me, due to ignorance and thus end up attaining finite fruits.
Now, who are those who worship ‘Me’?   In order to know this, here is what the Lord and Shankara say:
In 9.22 He says:
ये पुनः निष्कामाः सम्यग्दर्शिनः —

अनन्याश्चिन्तयन्तो मां
ये जनाः पर्युपासते ।
तेषां नित्याभियुक्तानां
योगक्षेमं वहाम्यहम् ॥ २२ ॥

अनन्याः अपृथग्भूताः परं देवं नारायणम् आत्मत्वेन गताः सन्तः चिन्तयन्तः मां ये जनाः संन्यासिनः पर्युपासतेतेषां परमार्थदर्शिनां नित्याभियुक्तानां सतताभियोगिनां योगक्षेमं योगःअप्राप्तस्य प्रापणं क्षेमः तद्रक्षणं तदुभयं वहामि प्रापयामि अहम् ; ज्ञानी त्वात्मैव मे मतम्’ (भ. गी. ७ । १८)   मम प्रियः’ (भ. गी. ७ । १७) यस्मात् , तस्मात् ते मम आत्मभूताः प्रियाश्चइति ॥
Those who have known, realized the Supreme Consciousness, Nārāyaṇa, as non-different from It, as their own Self, ….who are the knowers of the pāramārthika tattva….the jñānī is My very Self…
Here, the knower is the jñānī who of the nirguṇa tattvam, which is the pāramārthika jnānam. This tattvam is denoted by the term ‘Nārāyaṇa’ and ‘Vāsudeva’ above. Shankara says ‘vāsudevākhyam’ pāramārthikam tattvam’ is what is expounded by the BG, in his introduction to the Gitābhāṣyam. The ‘tattvam’ is not any deity.
In the 7th ch. the Lord says:
ज्ञानी पुनरपि स्तूयते —

बहूनां जन्मनामन्ते ज्ञानवान्मां प्रपद्यते ।
वासुदेवः सर्वमिति  महात्मा सुदुर्लभः ॥ १९ ॥

बहूनां जन्मनां ज्ञानार्थसंस्काराश्रयाणाम् अन्ते समाप्तौ ज्ञानवान् प्राप्तपरिपाकज्ञानः मां वासुदेवं प्रत्यगात्मानं प्रत्यक्षतः प्रपद्यते । कथम् ? वासुदेवः सर्वम् इति । यः एवं सर्वात्मानं मां नारायणं प्रतिपद्यतेसः महात्मा ;  तत्समः अन्यः अस्तिअधिको वा । अतः सुदुर्लभःमनुष्याणां सहस्रेषु’ (भ. गी. ७ । ३) इति हि उक्तम् ॥ १९ ॥
Here, in 7.19, Shankara says: ‘Vāsudeva is the innermost self, that is, one’s true self. The direct realization of this what is called ‘attainment’ and not going to some geographical location. How is this realization articulated? As ‘All this is Vāsudeva’, that is the realization that ‘the self of everything;’ Nārāyaṇa.’  This ‘sarvātmabhāva’ alone is taught in the Brihadāraṇyaka Up.1.4.10 ‘ब्रह्म वा इदमग्र आसीत्तदात्मानमेवावेत् । अहं ब्रह्मास्मीति । तस्मात्तत्सर्वमभवत्’ In the Bhāṣya Shankara says: सर्वात्मभावं फलं प्रतिपेदे इत्यस्मात्प्रयोगात् ब्रह्मविद्यासहायसाधनसाध्यं मोक्षं दर्शयति  । Thus, the ‘sarvātmā’ that is spoken of as ‘nārāyaṇa’ is what the jñānī realizes oneself to be owing to the jnānam: aham brahma asmi. In Advaita, this jnānam is of the nirguṇa tattvam and not of any formed deity, for such a formed entity, being finite, cannot be the sarvātmā.  
 सर्वो वासुदेव इत्येवमप्रतिपत्तौ कारणमुच्यते —
कामैस्तैस्तैर्हृतज्ञानाः प्रपद्यन्तेऽन्यदेवताः । तं तं नियममास्थाय प्रकृत्या नियताः स्वया ॥ २० ॥
कामैः तैस्तैः पुत्रपशुस्वर्गादिविषयैः हृतज्ञानाः अपहृतविवेकविज्ञानाः प्रपद्यन्ते अन्यदेवताः प्राप्नुवन्ति वासुदेवात् आत्मनः अन्याः देवताः ; तं तं नियमं देवताराधने प्रसिद्धो यो यो नियमः तं तम् आस्थाय आश्रित्य प्रकृत्या स्वभावेन जन्मान्तरार्जितसंस्कारविशेषेण नियताः नियमिताः स्वया आत्मीयया ॥ २० ॥
As to what is ‘Vāsudeva’ is once again brought out clearly by Shankara, by differentiating the ‘other gods’: ‘All gods other than Vāsudeva, the Ātman….’ Thus, Shankara qualifies ‘Vāsudeva’ by ‘Atman.’ From the above cited passages, ‘nārāyaṇa, vāsudeva, ātman’ are all non-different. All formed deities are therefore ‘anya devatā-s’ while Atman, named ‘vāsudeva’ alone is the vedāntic ‘deva’, the nirguṇa tattvam.
The term ‘madyājī’ (‘those who worship Me’) in the BG has a corresponding term in the Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad bhāṣyam: ‘Atmayājī’:  At the beginning of the third brāhmaṇam of the third adhyāya, Shankara cites a śatapatha brāhmaṇam passage containing the term ‘ātmayājin’:
 देवयाज्यात्मयाजिनोः आत्मयाजिनो विशेषश्रवणात् — ‘देवयाजिनः श्रेयानात्मयाजी’ (शत. ब्रा. ११ । २ । ६ । १३) इत्यादौ ‘यदेव विद्यया करोति’ (छा. उ. १ । १ । १०) इत्यादौ च । यस्तु परमात्मदर्शनविषये मनुनोक्तः आत्मयाजिशब्दः ‘सम्पश्यन्नात्मयाजी’ (मनु. १२ । ९१) इत्यत्र — समं पश्यन् आत्मयाजी भवतीत्यर्थः । अथवा भूतपूर्वगत्या — आत्मयाजी आत्मसंस्कारार्थं नित्यानि कर्माणि करोति — ‘इदं मेऽनेनाङ्गं संस्क्रियते’ (शत. ब्रा. ११ । २ । ६ । १३) इति श्रुतेः ; तथा ‘गार्भैर्होमैः’ (मनु. २ । २७) इत्यादिप्रकरणे कार्यकरणसंस्कारार्थत्वं नित्यानां कर्मणां दर्शयति ; संस्कृतश्च य आत्मयाजी तैः कर्मभिः समं द्रष्टुं समर्थो भवति, तस्य इह जन्मान्तरे वा समम् आत्मदर्शनमुत्पद्यते ; समं पश्यन् स्वाराज्यमधिगच्छतीत्येषोऽर्थः ; आत्मयाजिशब्दस्तु भूतपूर्वगत्या प्रयुज्यते ज्ञानयुक्तानां नित्यानां कर्मणां ज्ञानोत्पत्तिसाधनत्वप्रदर्शनार्थम् ।
Shankara and the śatapatha brāhmaṇam say: the ātmayājī is superior to the devayājī, which is what is conveyed by the Lord’s words in the BG 9.25 through the  term ‘madyājī’ where Shankara has  the same meaning to give. A Manusmṛti passage is also cited by Shankara above which has the term ‘ātmayājī’ which also gives the same meaning: One who is intent on getting the Self-knowledge, a mumukṣu. Alternatively Shankara says, without compromising on the original meaning, that it could also mean someone who performs niṣkāma karma (vihita karma) with a view to get the samskara for ātma jñānam, on the strength of the word ‘yaj’, yajña, ritualistic sacrifice.  In any case, the terms ‘atmayājī’ and ‘madyājī’ mean the same for Shankara. Surely, this is not a case of worshiping any deity, for that will come under devayājī of the śatapatha brāhmaṇa. Thus decidedly the ‘anyadevatā-s or devatāntara-s’ of the BG context are all those other, anya, than the Nirguṇa Brahman.
As to further strengthen our understanding of the above case, it is best to refer to what Shankara says in the Kenopaniṣat 1.5 bhāṣyam:
 कथं न्वात्मा ब्रह्म । आत्मा हि नामाधिकृतः कर्मण्युपासने च संसारी कर्मोपासनं वा साधनमनुष्ठाय ब्रह्मादिदेवान्स्वर्गं वा प्राप्तुमिच्छति । तत्तस्मादन्य उपास्यो विष्णुरीश्वर इन्द्रः प्राणो वा ब्रह्म भवितुमर्हति, न त्वात्मा ; लोकप्रत्ययविरोधात् । यथान्ये तार्किका ईश्वरादन्य आत्मेत्याचक्षते, तथा कर्मिणोऽमुं यजामुं यजेत्यन्या एव देवता उपासते । तस्माद्युक्तं यद्विदितमुपास्यं तद्ब्रह्म भवेत् , ततोऽन्य उपासक इति ।
Shankara raises a question: How can the Atman indeed be Brahman? For, the Atmā is a jīvātmā who considers himself qualified to perform some action or upāsana and attain the abodes of Brahmā, etc. deities or heaven. Surely, different from him are the deities that are meditated upon, upāsya-s, such as Viṣṇu, Iśvara, Indra, Prāṇa, etc. who could be Brahman but not the ātman (i.e. the ātma cannot be Brahman, but only those deities could be Brahman, upāsya.) Just like non-vedantins who base their siddhānta on tarka, hold Īśvara (Lord) to be different from the self, jīva, so too the karmin-s too, on the injunction like ‘sacrifice unto him, another deity, etc.’ hold the devatā to be different from the jiva who performs the yāga. Thus, it is quite in order that that the upāsya deity could be Brahman from which the upāsaka jīva is different.  This objection is what is dispelled by the mantra 1.5 for which Shankara further says: [Incidentally, for Shankara those who hold the jiva to be different from Brahman are not Vedantins; they are tārkika-s.]
आत्मानमेव निर्विशेषं ब्रह्म विद्धीति एवशब्दार्थः । नेदं ब्रह्म यदिदम् इत्युपाधिभेदविशिष्टमनात्मेश्वरादि उपासते ध्यायन्ति । तदेव ब्रह्म त्वं विद्धि इत्युक्तेऽपि नेदं ब्रह्म इत्यनात्मनोऽब्रह्मत्वं पुनरुच्यते नियमार्थम् अन्यब्रह्मबुद्धिपरिसङ्ख्यानार्थं वा ॥
Know the Self itself to be the nirguṇa Brahman. This is the teaching of this mantra. Brahman is not that which is meditated as ‘this’, different from oneself. Who are the ones that are meditated as ‘this’? Ishvara, etc. The mantra is emphasizing that all that is meditated upon as ‘this’ are anātmā and therefore ‘abrahma’.  And Shankara has listed those deities as ‘Viṣṇu, Ishvara, Indra, etc.’ Thus, these are all the anya devata-s, devatāntara-s according to Bhagavan in the Gita and as per Shankara.
Here are some ‘trade mark’ terms that distinctly signify the nirguṇa Brahman-related and not any deity as per Shankara:
‘pratyagātmā, ātmā, sarvātmā, pāramārthika, vāsudeva, nārāyaṇa, viṣṇu, vaiṣṇava, avyavahārya, brahmaprāpti, devatā ( ‘त्वं वा अहमस्मि भगवो देवतेऽहं वै त्वमसि’ इति । तत्र संशयः — किमिह व्यतिहारेण उभयरूपा मतिः कर्तव्या, उत एकरूपैवेति । एकरूपैवेति तावदाह ; न हि अत्र आत्मन ईश्वरेणैकत्वं मुक्त्वा अन्यत्किञ्चिच्चिन्तयितव्यमस्ति ) BSB 3.3.36 etc.’  Thus, ‘devatā’ in mukhyārtha means only the Pure Consciousness and only secondarily means Viṣnvādi deities.  Clearly Shankara has said that these deities are anātman, abrahman and therefore are the ‘devatāntara-s.’
It is quite understandable that non-advaitins who are not versed with the above terms as per Advaita, tend to superimpose their own meanings to these terms on the Advaita bhāṣyas and end up with erroneous understanding.  The expression यान्ति मद्याजिनोऽपि माम् ॥ २५ ॥ 9.25 [Those who worship Me attain Me] will typically mean to a non advaitin ‘attaining to the Lord’s abode such as vaikunṭha or the Lord’s body as sāyujya’. But such a meaning is not the Advaitin’s forte. ‘Attaining’ is realizing Brahman as non-different from oneself.   A sample of these occurrences are what are shown above.
Om Tat Sat
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Posted by: adbhutam | August 30, 2017

ADVAITA SIDDHI IN ENGLISH – ONGOING ARTICLES

Namaste

The following post is forwarded to BVP with a view to inform interested members that the Advaitasiddhi is being rendered into English on an ongoing basis. The website where the consecutive articles will be uploaded and available for the public to view is: www.advaitasiddhi.com  On the top right side of the page one can see the further classification of the topics with updates.
Members can share the information with other groups as well.
regards
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Venkatraghavan S via Advaita-l <advaita-l@lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Date: Fri, Aug 25, 2017 at 4:50 PM
Subject: [Advaita-l] Advaita Siddhi series – an Introduction
To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta <advaita-l@lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Cc: Venkatraghavan S <agnimile@gmail.com>

चिद्घनगणेशाय नम: |

श्री गुरुभ्यो नम: |
सदाशिव समारम्भाम् शङ्कराचार्य मध्यमाम् |
अस्मदाचार्य पर्यन्ताम् वन्दे गुरु परम्पराम् ||

On this auspicious gaNesh chaturthi day, with the encouragement of list
seniors like Sri Subrahmanian ji, I am attempting a series that
sequentially presents the content of the Advaita Siddhi in English.  As you
know, Advaita Siddhi is a text by *SrI madhusUdana sarasvati* svAminah, one
of the greatest AchAryas within the advaita tradition. The text was written
in response to a brilliant work titled nyAyAmrita, by *SrI vyAsa tIrtha*,
an equally renowned and influential AchArya within the dvaita tradition.

At the outset, I would like to state for the record that I do not feel
particularly qualified to write about a text like the advaita siddhi. That
I have even attempted such a foolhardy exercise as trying to present this
complex text in English, is motivated by two reasons. As far as I am aware,
there is no complete English translation of the text available today.
Secondly, this is a text which demands deep engagement from the student.
This becomes especially difficult for students of advaita (and indeed other
philosophies within the sanAtana dharma umbrella) not particularly
comfortable in sanskrit. Therefore, this series has been created with the
aim of making the text more accessible.

Philosophy in general, and moksha siddhAnta in particular, ought to live
not in unopened books in libraries, but in the hearts and minds of its
adherents. I hope this series will help bridge this gap.

I will try to translate most of the sanskrit words of the text, but in some
places where the meaning is more comprehensible in sanskrit, I may decide
to use the original sanksrit terms – I have often found the fully
translated versions of texts more inscrutable than the sanskrit ones.

The posts in this series are based on lectures in Tamil conducted on the
advaita siddhi in Chennai by Sri R Krishnamurthy Sastrigal, Sri Mani Dravid
Sastrigal and Sri Goda Venkateshwara Sastrigal. Clearly, any errors in
presentation or understanding are my own and should not be attributed to
the three stalwarts.

For people interested in such matters, the Sanskrit text follows the 2nd
edition of the Advaita Siddhi as edited by mahAmahopAdhyAya vedAntaviSArada
Anantakrishna sAstrigal, published by Pandurang Jawaji of the Nirnaya Sagar
Press, Bombay (1937).

My deep-felt thanks to my gurus and many others who have helped in this
regard.

The posts in this series will also be made available at
www.advaitasiddhi.com, so that people not on this list can access them. I
will try to make one post a week, but in case that does not happen, I seek
your forgiveness in advance. The first chapter, the mangaLAcharaNam, will
be posted shortly. If the list moderators would prefer that I send a link
instead (to save storage space on the server), I would be happy to do so.

If you have any comments/corrections/suggestions, please email me off the
list and I would be happy to discuss.

Regards,
Venkatraghavan

Posted by: adbhutam | August 22, 2017

MESSAGE FROM HH SRI SHANKARA BHARATI SWAMIJI IN KANNADA

Message from HH Sri Shankara Bharati Swamiji in Kannada

Here is a series of messages from the Swamiji, in Kannada, delivered during the Chāturmāsya of 2014. They are full of Dharma and Vedānta.

One can listen to each of the messages uploaded there, in serial order.
Posted by: adbhutam | August 22, 2017

ADVAITAM IN THE SRĪMADBHĀGAVATAM

Advaita in the Srimadbhāgavatam – A sample

Here is a very revealing talk in Tamil, with full of quotes and terms in Sanskrit, by Vidwan Dr. K.S.Maheswaran Nambuthiri of Chennai, bringing out the Advaitic tātparyam of the Bhāgavatam.

Anyone familiar with Sanskrit can easily benefit from the talk. It shows, among other things, that the there is a higher message conveyed by the various stories and that the stories themselves are not the ultimate truth. They are merely vehicles that carry a different truth.  Shankara has said this alone in his bhāṣya-s.
Om Tat Sat
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

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