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Thread: why sat chit anand are not attributes to brahman

  1. #11
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    Re: why sat chit anand are not attributes to brahman

    Hello folks,

    Before we debate whether Brahman has attributes or does not have attributes, perhaps we should define a substance (dravya) and an attribute (guna) as was discussed in Indian philosophy?

    Any dualistic philosophy that differentiates between a substance on the one hand and an attribute that is different on the other hand immediately opens itself up to the problem of infinite regress.

    That is, if an attribute is related to a substance by a relation (this relationship was posited to be one of samavaya [or inherence] by the Naiyayikas), how is the substance related to this relation?

    Advaitins have used this basic argument to keep at bay Naiyayikas. Naiyayikas have devised workarounds and modified the rest of their philosophy to be consistent with this workaround.

    This argument has also been called the Bradley problem in Western philosophical traditions.

    My point is that before arguing about substances and attributes, should we not be clear what these are?

  2. #12
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    Re: why sat chit anand are not attributes to brahman

    Namaste Kali,

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalicharan Tuvij View Post
    "Pervades" is not the same as "includes all". For example, "a smell pervades a room" doesn't mean "the room is contained within the smell".
    That is the issue when we resort to English translation. What I have stated is right. I will give you word-by-word meaning of the verses I have quoted :

    Verse 2.17

    The Sanskrit is :

    "AvinAshi tu tadviddhi yena sarvam idam tatam"

    We must focus on "Yena Sarvam idam tatam" ===>

    Yena = By which
    Sarvam idam == All this (universe) (please check, it includes all)
    Tatam === ??? what does this word mean ? It has been translated in English as "pervade", "Expanded" , "spread throughout" etc. in a bid to give an exact translation of the word. However, the exact meaning is "pervading in a way as water pervades an ice-brick".

    So, it can be translated best as, "pervading through and through".

    The exact word used there, I suppose, is "Vasudeva" that is: "who pervades", and not "all this is God". Please correct me if I am wrong here.
    Yes, the verse is, "VAsudevah sarvam iti" ===> VAsudeva has been used for Lord Krishna here. Vasudeva doesn't mean "Who pervades". It comes from the word, "VAs" means "home" or abode" and "deva" means God. Therefore, VAsudeva means "God who is the abode of all". "VAs" also means "reside" and therefore it is also translated as "God who resides" or "Indweller God" or "God that dwells Within".

    However, in this verse, Lord Krishna, because of being son of Vasudeva, is called VAsudeva. We need not go so deep in meaning of this word because it has been used as noun and is being equated to all that is and it is being said for Lord Krishna.

    So, it says :

    Vasudevah === Lord Krishna/God
    Sarvam === All, everything
    Iti === In this manner

    I think this is a misquote; perhaps you mean B.G 7.7 which says "there is nothing beyond/ superior than Me." And not "there is nothing besides me" as suggested here.
    Thanks for the corrected verse number which was a typo. However, the meaning given by me is correct. The verse is :

    BG 7.7
    "Mattah partaram na anyat kinchit asti Dhananjaya"

    (I have written the verse after Sandhi viccheda for separating the words )

    Mattah === Me/My
    Partaram = Except

    (this translation of "Partaram" is done by GIta Press, Gorakhpur. I have relied on this translation.). Its Hindi translation is "SivAya".

    NAnyat Kinchit Asti == Na (No) + Anyat (other) + Kinchit (anything else) + Asti (exists) ===> no other (thing) exists
    Dhananjaya == Arjuna

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalicharan Tuvi
    "yasya antaḥ-sthāni bhūtāni" means "inside whom jiva-s reside". But this can mean "the room that has a cat inside it (but the cat still not a part of the room)". So this means Purusha is of infinite, all-encompassing nature, but still not "everything" necessarily.
    Verse 8.22 again has the term, "Yena Sarvam Idam tatam" which was earlier used in Verse 2.17 and that clearly states the meaning I have given. Gita Press, Gorakhpur has translated this verse exactly as I have quoted.

    Verse 9.4 has again used the term, :"tatam" === "MayA tatam Idam sarvam Jagat" ===> By me this whole world is pervaded through and through (like water pervades Ice)

    So, the "wrong" is:
    Brahman (Brahm) pervades everything -- is well evidenced. But "Brahman contains everything" has a weak support, if at all, and something open to discussion.
    No. "Brahman contains everything" is correct and also "Brahman alone is everything". If you have doubts over the meaning that has been used in my post, we can take the help of what Shruti says:

    "sarvaṁ hy etad brahma, ayam ātmā brahma" (MAndukya Upanishad, Verse 1)

    ===> This all is verily Brahamn. This AtmA/Self is Brahman.

    In fact, I can give many such references from Upanishads where this is clearly written. Bhagwad Gita is Smriti and therefore it cannot be translated in a way that it violates Shruti.

    *******************

    In fact, if we read the verse BG 2.17 carefully, it makes very clear that there is nothing except Brahman/Self which alone is imperishable. 2.17 uses singular number for describing what is imperishable and what pervades this universe through and through. It says, "AvinAshi to tat viddhi, yena sarvam idam tatam" ===> Please mark it. It uses the term, "Tat" which is singular for "That". If the imperishable were many, it could not have used the word, "Tat" but "TAni". So, this verse declares without any doubt that there is One alone which is imperishable and that alone pervades everything in this universe through and through. "Sarvam Idam" doesn't exclude anything. This meaning is completely in line with, "Sarvam hi etad Brahman" =-== "All this is verily Brahman" declared by Shruti and therefore is the correct meaning of the verse.

    **************

    In spite of whatever I said above, I have no issues, if some Vaishnava schools or anyone translate the verses in different ways and stick to that. However, saying that the above given translation is wrong is not right.

    OM
    Last edited by devotee; 10 September 2014 at 05:38 AM.
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

  3. #13

    Re: why sat chit anand are not attributes to brahman

    Pranam Devotee-ji,

    Quote Originally Posted by devotee View Post
    In spite of whatever I said above, I have no issues, if some Vaishnava schools or anyone translate the verses in different ways and stick to that. However, saying that the above given translation is wrong is not right.
    This clarification is a very welcome one. So the issue here is hardly the BG, since as seen from your own reply,
    Tatam === ??? what does this word mean ? It has been translated in English as "pervade", "Expanded" , "spread throughout" etc. in a bid to give an exact translation of the word. ~~~~

    So, it can be translated best as, "pervading through and through".
    which is still near to the meaning "pervading" than to "including".
    "VAs" also means "reside" and therefore it is also translated as "God who resides" or "Indweller God" or "God that dwells Within".
    Again the meaning ("indwelling") perilously close to "pervading".
    Partaram = Except

    (this translation of "Partaram" is done by GIta Press, Gorakhpur. I have relied on this translation.)
    parataram = para (beyond) + taram (moving) = exceeding.
    So Krishna tells nothing exceeds Him. Krishna is the upper limit; the best of all qualities. But not "all qualities"; at least that is not implied here.

    So, at this point we can leave BG (because strictly from within this text there is at best indirect evidence for "Brahm is everything").

    "Brahman contains everything" is correct and also "Brahman alone is everything". If you have doubts over the meaning that has been used in my post, we can take the help of what Shruti says:

    "sarvaṁ hy etad brahma, ayam ātmā brahma" (MAndukya Upanishad, Verse 1)

    ===> This all is verily Brahamn. This AtmA/Self is Brahman.
    This is the full context:
    1 This syllable AUM is verily all this
    This is the explanation about AUM:
    The past, the present and the future are AUM,
    And That beyond these three is also AUM.

    aum ity etad akṣaram idam sarvam, tasyopavyākhyānam
    bhūtam bhavad bhaviṣyad iti sarvam auṁkāra eva
    yac cānyat trikālātītaṁ tad apy auṁkāra eva.

    2 Brahman is indeed all this.
    This self (AtmA) in us is also Brahman.
    And this self (AtmA) has four planes.

    sarvaṁ hy etad brahma, ayam ātmā brahma
    so’yam ātmā catuṣ-pāt.

    ~~~
    ~~~
    7. That is known as the fourth quarter: neither inward-turned nor outward-turned consciousness, nor the two together; not an indifferentiated mass of consciousness; neither knowing, nor unknowing; invisible, ineffable, intangible, devoid of characteristics, inconceivable, indefinable, its sole essence being the consciousness of its own Self; the coming to rest of all relative existence; utterly quiet; peaceful; blissful: without a second: this is the Ātman, the Self; this is to be realised.

    nāntaḥ-prajñam, na bahiṣ prajñam, nobhayataḥ-prajñam
    na prajnañā-ghanam, na prajñam, nāprajñam;
    adṛṣtam, avyavahārayam, agrāhyam, alakṣaṇam,
    acintyam, avyapadeśyam, ekātma-pratyaya-sāram,
    prapañcopaśamam, śāntam, śivam, advaitam,
    caturtham manyante, sa ātmā, sa vijñeyaḥ.

    The verse (1) talks about AUM as "The past, the present and the future are AUM", and also "And That beyond these three is also AUM".

    But, there are things that are besides (if not beyond) trikAla. Example, "this place", "love", "ego", "truth", "matter", "life" (even though the expanded idea trikAla pervades them all).

    So in (2) "this all" means "trikAla" in its basic and ramified implications. And this is being equated with AUM/ Atman/ Brahm (Brahman).

    "AtmA is Brahman" is also said, but the very next verses go on explaing the "four layers" of this AtmA, and it is clear from the MU overall (see verse 7 above) that:
    "The fourth (turiya) is Atman"
    That is, "the fourth is Brahman"
    because we know Atman = Brahman, in Upanishads.
    And this is further explained to be (in verse 7),
    "invisible, ineffable, intangible, devoid of characteristics, inconceivable, indefinable"
    In a single word, "Nothing".

    Infact, verbosity is the greatest learning block in brahmvidya. In RgVeda therefore this "nothingness" is not talked about at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by devotee View Post
    In fact, I can give many such references from Upanishads where this is clearly written. Bhagwad Gita is Smriti and therefore it cannot be translated in a way that it violates Shruti.
    That will be good because the status of AtharvaVeda as a Veda is suspect, and the MU is a follower Upnishadic text on that. Even then, as shown in this post the MU can be seen to equate Brahman to Nothingness (also called the Fourth).
    Things to remember:

    1. Life = yajña
    2. Depth of Āstika knowledge is directly proportional
    to the richness of Sanskrit it is written in
    3. Āstika = Bhārata ("east") / Ārya ("west")
    4. Varṇa = tripartite division of Vedic polity
    5. r = c. x²
    where,
    r = realisation
    constant c = intelligence
    variable x = bhakti

  4. #14
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    Re: why sat chit anand are not attributes to brahman

    Namaste Kali,

    By reading your post, I think you are here with a fixed idea and anything offered to you is going waste. So, I won't go any further.

    You are free to have your own meaning of the scriptures.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

  5. #15

    Re: why sat chit anand are not attributes to brahman

    Pranam,
    Quote Originally Posted by devotee View Post
    Namaste Kali,

    By reading your post, I think you are here with a fixed idea and anything offered to you is going waste. So, I won't go any further.

    You are free to have your own meaning of the scriptures.

    OM
    Thank you for reading my post. (This is all I wanted in this thread). We don't need to take it further either, for there is nothing more to say.

    I am not particularly interested in any philosophy. "Brahm" is true is enough ; I don't care- don't fear- if "Brahm" is true but "the philosophy" turns out to be untrue.

    Quote Originally Posted by wundermonk View Post
    Hello folks,

    Before we debate whether Brahman has attributes or does not have attributes, perhaps we should define a substance (dravya) and an attribute (guna) as was discussed in Indian philosophy?

    Any dualistic philosophy that differentiates between a substance on the one hand and an attribute that is different on the other hand immediately opens itself up to the problem of infinite regress.

    That is, if an attribute is related to a substance by a relation (this relationship was posited to be one of samavaya [or inherence] by the Naiyayikas), how is the substance related to this relation?

    Advaitins have used this basic argument to keep at bay Naiyayikas. Naiyayikas have devised workarounds and modified the rest of their philosophy to be consistent with this workaround.

    This argument has also been called the Bradley problem in Western philosophical traditions.

    My point is that before arguing about substances and attributes, should we not be clear what these are?
    Pranam WM,

    Let us say, we are measuring the temperature field (in a town) with a thermometer.

    Thermometer is finite whereas the temperature field is infinite. So the measurement (the "temperature reading") of the thermometer is nothing but the result of the interaction between the infinite (the field) and the finite (thermometer).

    So, as we see, without a thermometer (the finite observer) there is no meaning (as we understand the normal "meaning" to be) to the concept of "temperature".

    Surya is the presiding Devata of this interface between the two and those who worship Him directly or indirectly keep receiving everything (Soma) they need along their evolutionary journey.

    If I understood the "problem" correctly, the example just mentioned shows there is no problem as such. That said I think the the focus in this thread was individualistic, and I just wanted to further clarify on a point or two- for my own understanding, given such discussions already have had conclusion achieved long since- in the eyes of a neutral observer at least (non-Vaishnav non-Vedanti). On my own part, I dont even consider terms such as "Krishna", "Brahm", "Aum", "Atman" to be equal- it is simply not in the nature of Sanskrit to waste more than one term for naming one thing.


    KT
    Things to remember:

    1. Life = yajña
    2. Depth of Āstika knowledge is directly proportional
    to the richness of Sanskrit it is written in
    3. Āstika = Bhārata ("east") / Ārya ("west")
    4. Varṇa = tripartite division of Vedic polity
    5. r = c. x²
    where,
    r = realisation
    constant c = intelligence
    variable x = bhakti

  6. #16

    Re: why sat chit anand are not attributes to brahman

    Quote Originally Posted by jopmala View Post
    Namaste


    When we say that Brahman is sadchidanand , does this not carry the attributes to Brahman ? brahman is sat means he exists but where does he exist . we are in the universe but from his side there is no universe . we say he is all pervading but what is that ‘all’ that he is to pervade . as far as he is concerned there exists nothing other than him. Next he is chit means he is knowledge. what is this knowledge meant for , who requires this knowledge who delivers this knowledge to whom. If he is knowledge then who is ignorance. If ignorance is maya which is brahman’s power that means he is ( since power can not be separated from powerful) ignorance also. Next he is anand that is bliss. What is the need of being blissful for a nirgun nirvishesh Brahman. Can he enjoy anand or Is there any link between the anand or bliss we enjoy and that of Brahman ? . why sat chit and anand are not attributes of Brahman ? He is there, he is knowledge and he is anand still we have to say he is nirgun or nirakar nirvishesh. Is it justifiable?
    Namaste jopmala

    sacchidananda is not and cannot be the atrribute of brahman.. It is the svarupam or substance Of brahman..

    The reason: substance must be different from its attribute, if they are the same then there is useless to call it attribute/substance.
    .sat is existence.. The only thing that can be different from existence is non-existence..
    So if satyam is the attribute of brahman then the substance of brahman must be non-existence. It is not proper to say the non existent have existence as its attribute.. Therefore satyam cannot be the atttribute of brahman but it is the very essence or substance of brahman..

    Yes brahman is all pervading.. Then existence is all pervading..brahman is existence..anything that exist has existence as its essence therefore anything is brahman only..
    Yes according to brahman point of view there is no universe, it is like according to gold, there is no golden ring or golden necklace... Only gold exist . Any differences are just form and name only, it is only mithyaa because of maya shakti..

    Yes existence cannot reveal itself, only consciousness/knowledge can reveal existence.. It is like only conscious person can prove the existence of a vase.. The vase itself cannot reveal itself. Therefore existence and knowledge is the same..
    Yes brahman is the substratum of knowledge and ignorance.. Ignorance is just a form of knowledge only..

    Ananda is better to be interpreted as ananta or endless or limitless.. There is no limit of existence or knowledge...only the limitless can bring happiness or bliss therefore brahman is also called ananda.

    So yes it justifiable that nirguma brahman is satcitananda, doesnt have any attribute...
    The gunas of brahman in saguna brahman term are just mithyaa only.. Not exist

  7. #17

    Re: why sat chit anand are not attributes to brahman

    Namaste

    Brahman is know when one is Self realized, not before, and its nothing that anyone can imagine, it will destroy all mental concepts which is what the majority of this thread is, even learned advaitins are not agreeing with each other on certain points.

    We can look at two ends of the scale

    Firstly this one

    TEXT 9
    etam drstim avastabhya
    nastatmano 'lpa-buddhayah
    prabhavanty ugra-karmanah
    ksayaya jagato 'hitah

    SYNONYMS
    etam—thus; drstim—vision; avastabhya—accepting; nasta—lost; atmanah—self; alpa-buddhayah—less intelligent; prabhavanti—flourish; ugra-karmanah—in painful activities; ksayaya—for destruction; jagatah—of the world; ahitah—unbeneficial.
    TRANSLATION
    Following such conclusions, the demoniac, who are lost to themselves and who have no intelligence, engage in unbeneficial, horrible works meant to destroy the world.

    This means they are engaged in destroying communities and instigating war and hatred. They even object to anyone going against them, and this can often cost people their lives.


    On the other end of the scale

    TEXT 54
    brahma-bhutah prasannatma
    na socati na kanksati
    samah sarvesu bhutesu
    mad-bhaktim labhate param

    SYNONYMS
    brahma-bhutah—being one with the Absolute; prasanna-atma—fully joyful; na—never; socati—laments; na—never; kanksati—desires; samah—equally disposed; sarvesu—all; bhutesu—living entity; mat-bhaktim—My devotional service; labhate—gains; param—transcendental.

    TRANSLATION
    One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman. He never laments nor desires to have anything; he is equally disposed to every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me.

    Now does this mean that Knowers of Brahman sit quietly and watch as the forces that cause division and suffering are silent, inactive and peacefully watch undisturbed.

    Jnana marg is not absent of responsibility to the interdependent network of all beings, if they are realized then they also see how creation is being manifest and what makes up existence.

    Does it mean the Brahm Jnani has no attributes? they are nothing that can be cognized by ones who still have avidya in their mind, they are beyond reproach, Self dependant and fearless.

    If we are to talk translations Bhagavan Paramahamsa Nityananda says sat is Bhakti.

  8. #18
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    Re: why sat chit anand are not attributes to brahman

    Namaste
    Om

    The beauty of Sanatana Dharma is that it is not a religion. It's a research on life and creation.
    The path to the ultimate Truth is uniquely tread by people who are all unique by nature. Though the paths can be broadly defined into some defined gharanas.
    Ultimately they all merge as we coverge towards the mountain Top which is a singular point.
    The people at lower down fight for whose path is correct. At the Top it's all same.

    As all the three attributes tend to zero they move from gross layer to subtle layer. Zero is not possible as then it leads to a unmanifesting system.
    But again zero state is there as a substratum leading to the existence of all.

    As for life example as the frequency of mind comes down the three attributes converge towards the base state of permanent bliss, permanent Truth and permanent state of consciousness.
    At zero all of these merge and lose the identity of attributes as that is a point of no return.

    That's why our knowledge and perceptions are limited to the mind's span. Beyond that there is no tool to experience or understand.

    However we need to distinguish between Iswar and Brahman. Brahman is the substratum which is permanent state. Though we can deliberate on Brahman, being nirguna we cannot expect anything out of Brahman.
    Mostly our needs and deeds are out of Iswara the manifested form of Brahman. Whether we call them the Trinity or Krishna or Shiva or Brahma - they are ruling the kala chakra.
    All the distinction between the different entities start from these. Even Maya.
    All churning or cycles are limited to these.

    Namaste



    .
    Love and best wishes:hug:

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