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Thread: Mahavakya

  1. #1
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    Light Mahavakya

    एष ब्रह्मैष इन्द्र एष प्रजापतिरेते सर्वे देवा इमानि च पञ्चमहाभूतानि पृथिवी वायुराकाश आपो ज्योतींषीत्येतानीमानि च क्शुद्रमिश्राणीव । बीजानीतराणि चेतराणि चाण्डजानि च जारुजानि च स्वेदजानि चोद्भिज्जानि चाश्वा गावः पुरुषा हस्तिनो यत्किञ्चेदं प्राणि जङ्गमं च पतत्रि च यच्च स्थावरं सर्वं तत्प्रज्ञानेत्रं प्रज्ञाने प्रतिष्ठितं प्रज्ञानेत्रो लोकः प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठा प्रज्ञानं ब्रह्म

    esha brahmaisha indra esha prajāpatirete sarve devā imāni ca pañcamahābhūtāni prithivī vāyurākāśa āpo jyotīmshītyetānīmāni ca kśudramiśrānīva | bījānītarāni cetarāni cāndajāni ca jārujāni ca svedajāni codbhijjāni cāśvā gāvah purushā hastino yatkiñcedam prāni jangamam ca patatri ca yacca sthāvaram sarvam tatprajñānetram prajñāne pratishthitam prajñānetro lokah prajñā pratishthā prajñānam brahma ||

    This Brahman, this Indra, this Creator, all these Gods, these Five Great Elements ~ Earth, Air, Ether, Water, Fire ~ all these multitude of small creatures, these other seeds ~ egg-born, womb-born, sweat-born, sprout-born ~ horses, cows, men, elephants, whatever else that lives, and moves, and flies, and those unmoving ~ all these are guided by Wisdom and established in Wisdom. The World has Wisdom as its guide. Wisdom is the basis of all. Wisdom is Brahman.

    This is the Svarupa or Lakshana Vakya, from the Aitareya Upanishad [5.3] of the Rig Veda; which describes the nature of Brahman, in answer to the question: “Who is this Atman whom we worship?”.

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    Namaskarams

    I am asking out of curiosity and not to contradict

    Does not this Vakya is part and parcel of Maya as per Advaitins? How Sabda Paramaana is excluded from Maya as per Advaitins?

    If this is part of maya, how getting acquainted with maya will remove maya as such

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Jalasayanan
    I am asking out of curiosity and not to contradict

    Does not this Vakya is part and parcel of Maya as per Advaitins? How Sabda Paramaana is excluded from Maya as per Advaitins?
    Any definition of Brahman that relates him to the world or creation is called the tatastha laxana, or in other words an imperfect or a limited definition of the Brahman. On the other hand, Svarupa laxana, or the right definition of Brahman according to advaita is not possible in human words, and is only possible in terms of negation of attributes. This is made clear in Shankara Bhasya in 1.1.2. This is a point of view unique to Adi Shankara, and no other commentrator accepted this tatastha laxana defintion of the Brahman as creator, destroyer etc.



    Quote Originally Posted by Jalasayanan
    If this is part of maya, how getting acquainted with maya will remove maya as such
    Understanding Maya is the first step to transcending Maya. Maya includes the 24 tattvams. Understanding of Maya gives rise to understanding of Isvara or Saguna Brahman( means near identity with Isvara), who is the origin and controller of Maya. Understanding Saguna Brahman leads to Nirguna Brahman( which is considered identity unlike the near identity with Isvara). There is no difference between these two, except from the point of view of perspective.

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    Good post but I request for elobaration.

    further, isn't it understanding saguna brahman itself is Maya. Then how it leads to removal of maya. This switch over is what I want to know

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jalasayanan
    Good post but I request for elobaration.

    further, isn't it understanding saguna brahman itself is Maya. Then how it leads to removal of maya. This switch over is what I want to know
    Good question. I guess there are two kinds of Maya and you are talking about a different one here. Abbrev: NB - Nirguna Brahman, SB - Saguna Brahman.

    NB is the only reality, there is nothing else. But NB is actionless, so how do we explain the plurality we see around us? Hence the concept of SB is needed to explain the phenomenon. SB is non different from NB except from the point of view of perspective.(phenomenal or absolute). The process of SB arising from NB is unexplainable.

    You can consider SB as Maya born out of NB, though it is not a proper explanation. SB can also be considered as existing eternally along with NB as a pair, a definition avoided for logical reasons. But SB like NB has to be acepted as an eternal concept, because NB cannot give rise to SB as he is actionless.

    But SB is supreme and is the universal consciousness, and cannot be imposed any limitations unlike other jivas. Everything else we see here is a manifestation of SB out of his own will. The power of SB is termed as Maya, and it is the great power that blinds us from the knowledge of our true nature of Brahman. SB occupies the highest ontological position at 25th, Maya or mUlaprakriti at 24. Anythng below this is under the influence of Maya and is less supreme than SB and Maya.


    In brief:

    NB + Maya = SB, in this context Maya is unexplainable
    SB + Maya = the 23 tattvams, in this context Maya can be called the will/Lila of SB. Some of these tattvams are referred to by the term avidya(upto Manas tattvam usually), instead of Maya. Some people prefer to call all these 23 as Maya, and others refer to the 23 tatvams as avidya.

  6. #6
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    Namaste TS,

    lakshaNa means “indicating or expressing indirectly”; and thus it is “a mark, sign, symbol, token, characteristic, attribute, or quality”.

    A Lakshana is “a line drawn on the sacrificial ground”, “a lucky mark or favourable sign”, “an accurate description, definition, or illustration”, “a designation, appellation, or name”, or “a form, species, kind, or sort”.

    Lakshana indicates “the act of aiming at something, or the aim, goal, scope, or object of something”, “a reference or quotation, effect, operation, influence, cause, occasion, opportunity, observation, sight or seeing”.

    taTastha means “standing on a bank”, and in Vedanta it indicates “a property distinct from the nature of the body and yet that by which it is known” ~ i.e. “spiritual essence”.

    Tatastha laxana, or in other words an imperfect or a limited definition
    “Imperfect definition” is a poor translation of these terms!

    svarUpa is “one’s own form or shape, or the from or shape of something”; and thus “condition, peculiarity, character, nature, peculiar aim, kind, sort, occurrence, or event”.

    Svarupa means “having one’s own peculiar form or character” or “having a like nature or character, similar, or like”.

    And Svarupa means “pleasing, handsome, learned, or wise”.

    So that “Svarupa” is a perfect name for this Vakya, which describes the characteristic mark or sign by which Brahman may be known ~ i.e. Wisdom!

    And this Vakya is the eternal verity that Shri Shankaracarya revealed as the quintessence of the entire corpus of Rigveda.

    This is the Svarupa or Lakshana Vakya, from the Aitareya Upanishad [5.3] of the Rig Veda; which describes the nature of Brahman, in answer to the question: “Who is this Atman whom we worship?”.
    Nirguna Brahman can neither be worshipped nor described, and so this description of the worshipped Atman as “Wisdom” can only be a true description of Saguna Brahman, and just an indication of the quality by which the ultimate Nirguna Brahman may be known.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by sarabhanga

    Nirguna Brahman can neither be worshipped nor described, and so this description of the worshipped Atman as “Wisdom” can only be a true description of Saguna Brahman, and just an indication of the quality by which the ultimate Nirguna Brahman may be known.
    Namaste Sarabhanga,

    That is exactly the reason all vakyas other than the neti neti( and similar ones) are classified as tatastha laxana, because there is no perfect (absolute) definition possible for NB.

    Svarupa laxana denotes the absolute definition or the real unchanging definition or essential nature of NB. That is the state of Pure Consciousness, which is neither causal, nor subtle, nor gross. It is neither outside nor inside. It has no external nor internal. An attempt has been made in the Mandukya(Turiya) and by other expressions such as neti neti.

    By convention other definitions such as Creatorship, or even better ones such as Satyam, Jnanam and Anantam are taken only as tatasta laxanas , and associated only with SB. There is not a big problem about calling these definitions as Svarupa except from the point of view of logic. Sri Shankara's Bhasya interprets Satyam, Jnanam and Anantam as "not non-existance", "non ignorance", "non finite" only to make sure the concept of non dualty is not compromised. There is no need to do so, if they were admitted as svarupa laxanas. For classical advaitins, all definitions of NB in terms of positives is not acceptable for absolutely defining NB.

    Thus, I was giving only the convention - and no have intentions to disgree with your views. Did you mean say it is the svarupa laxana of SB? Yes, then it is perfect. That is what Jalasayanan seems to have arrived at too....

  8. #8
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    SB can also be considered as existing eternally along with NB as a pair, a definition avoided for logical reasons. But SB like NB has to be acepted as an eternal concept, because NB cannot give rise to SB as he is actionless
    Does not this indicates duality, making NB and SB distinctively different thus defying the very ideas of Advaita?

    NB + Maya = SB, in this context Maya is unexplainable
    Is it fully unexplained or to some extent explained? I trust unexplainable should mean cannot be fully explained though to some extent some explation is given.

    Further TS posting answering Shri Sharabhanga indicates lot of deviation in Sankaracharya's system and current advaita - Is my conclusion correct? If yes, what is this new system called?

  9. #9
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    ब्रह्म वा इदमग्र आसीत् । तदात्मानमेवावेत् । अहं ब्रह्मास्मीति । तस्मात्तत्सर्वमभवत् । तद्यो यो देवानां प्रत्यबुध्यत स एव तदभवत् । तथर्षीनाम् । तथा मनुष्याणाम् । तद्धैतत्पश्यन्नृषिर्वामदेवः प्रतिपेदेऽहं मनुरभवं सूर्यश्चेति । तदिदमप्येतर्हि य एवं वेदाहं ब्रह्मास्मीति स इदं सर्वं भवति । तस्य ह न देवाश्चनाभूत्या ईशते । आत्मा ह्येषां स भवति । अथ योऽन्यां देवतामुपास्तेऽन्योऽसावन्योऽहमस्मीति न स वेद । यथा पशुरेवं स देवानाम् । यथा ह वै बहवः पशवो मनुष्यं भुञ्ज्युरेवमेकैकः पुरुषो देवान्भुनक्ति । एकस्मिन्नेव पशावादीयमानेऽप्रियं भवति किमु बहुषु । तस्मादेषां तन्न प्रियं यदेतन्मनुष्या विद्युः ॥

    brahma vā idamagra āsīt | tadātmānamevāvet | aham brahmāsmīti | tasmāttatsarvamabhavat | tadyo yo devānām pratyabudhyata sa eva tadabhavat | tatharshīnām | tathā manushyānām | taddhaitatpaśyannrishirvāmadevah pratipede'ham manurabhavam sūryaśceti | tadidamapyetarhi ya evam vedāham brahmāsmīti sa idam sarvam bhavati | tasya ha na devāścanābhūtyā īśate | ātmā hyeshām sa bhavati | atha yo'nyām devatāmupāste'nyo'sāvanyo'hamasmīti na sa veda | yathā paśurevam sa devānām | yathā ha vai bahavah paśavo manushyam bhuñjyurevamekaikah purusho devānbhunakti | ekasminneva paśāvādīyamāne'priyam bhavati kimu bahushu | tasmādeshām tanna priyam yadetanmanushyā vidyuh ||

    Verily in the beginning this was Brahman, that Brahman knew (its) Self only, saying, “I am Brahman”. From it all this sprang. Thus, whatever Deva was awakened (so as to know Brahman), he indeed became that (Brahman); and the same with Rishis and men. The Rishi Vamadeva saw and understood it, singing, “I was Manu (moon), I was the sun”. Therefore now also he who thus knows that he is Brahman, becomes all this, and even the Devas cannot prevent it, for he himself is their Self.

    Now if a man worships another deity, thinking the deity is one and he another, he does not know. He is like a beast for the Devas. For verily, as many beasts nourish a man, thus does every man nourish the Devas. If only one beast is taken away, it is not pleasant; how much more when many are taken! Therefore it is not pleasant to the Devas that men should know this.


    This is the Anushandhana Vakya, from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad [1.4.10] of the Yajur Veda; which explains the creative wisdom of Brahman, in answer to the question: “If men think that by knowledge of Brahman they will become everything, what then did that Brahman know, from whence all this sprang?”.

    aNu-SaNDha means “subtle hermaphrodite” ~ and the Anushandhana Vakya is Brahman in the very moment of His creative self-expansion.

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    Cool

    Chandogyopanishad, 6th Prapathaka, 1st Khanda.

    1. There lived once Svetaketu Aruneya. To him his father (Uddalaka, the son of Aruna) said: “Svetaketu, go to school; for there is none belonging to our race, darling, who, not having studied (the Veda), is, as it were, a Brahmana by birth only.”

    2. Having begun his apprenticeship (with a teacher) when he was twelve years of age, Svetaketu returned to his father, when he was twenty-four, having then studied all the Vedas ~ conceited, considering himself well-read, and stern.

    3. His father said to him: “Svetaketu, as you are so conceited, considering yourself so well-read, and so stern, my dear, have you ever asked for that instruction by which we hear what cannot be heard, by which we perceive what cannot be perceived, by which we know what cannot be known?”

    4. “What is that instruction, Sir?” he asked.


    That final instruction to Svetaketau is the Upadesha Vakya of the Sama Veda ~ the completion of the Veda, and the very essence of Vedanta. And the Upadesha is repeated nine times by Uddalaka.


    स य एषोऽणिमैतदात्म्यमिदँ सर्वम् । तत्सत्यम् । स आत्मा । तत्त्वमसि श्वेतकेतो इति । भूय एव मा भगवान्विज्ञापयत्विति । तथा सोम्येति होवाच ॥

    sa ya esho'nimaitadātmyamidam sarvam | tatsatyam | sa ātmā | tattvamasi śvetaketo iti | bhūya eva mā bhagavānvijñāpayatviti | tathā somyeti hovāca ||8.7, 9.4, 10.3, 12.3, 13.3, 14.3, 15.3||

    “Now, that which is that subtle essence, in it all that exists has its self. It is the True. It is the Self; and thou, O Svetaketu, art it.”
    “Please Sir, inform me still more”, said the son. “Be it so, my child”, the father replied.


    एवमेव खलु सोम्य विद्धीति ह उवाच । जीवापेतं वाव किलेदं म्रियते न जीवो म्रियत इति । स य एषोऽणिमैतदात्म्यमिदँ सर्वम् । तत्सत्यम् । स आत्मा । तत्त्वमसि श्वेतकेतो इति । भूय एव मा भगवान्विज्ञापयत्विति । तथा सोम्येति होवाच ॥

    evameva khalu somya viddhīti ha uvāca | jīvāpetam vāva kiledam mriyate na jīvo mriyata iti | sa ya esho'nimaitadātmyamidam sarvam | tatsatyam | sa ātmā | tattvamasi śvetaketo iti | bhūya eva mā bhagavānvijñāpayatviti | tathā somyeti hovāca ||11.3||

    “This (body) indeed withers and dies when the living Self has left it; the living Self dies not. That which is that subtle essence, in it all that exists has its self. It is the True. It is the Self; and thou, O Svetaketu, art it.”
    “Please Sir, inform me still more”, said the son. “Be it so, my child”, the father replied.


    स यथा तत्र नादाह्येत । एतदात्म्यमिदँ सर्वम् । तत्सत्यम् । स आत्मा । तत्त्वमसि श्वेतकेतो इति । तद्धास्य विजज्ञाविति विजज्ञाविति ॥

    sa yathā tatra nādāhyeta | etadātmyamidam sarvam | tatsatyam | sa ātmā | tattvamasi śvetaketo iti | taddhāsya vijajñāviti vijajñāviti ||16.3||

    “As that (truthful) man is not burnt, thus has all that exists its self in That. It is the True. It is the Self, and thou, O Svetaketu, art it.”
    He understood what he said, yea, he understood it.

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