Satyam and nityam
sada at ANVIL.NRL.NAVY.MIL
Mon Aug 25 07:22:18 CDT 1997
Isn't what is satyam in advaita nityam
>Also, isn't the definition of satyam given by the swamiji rather unusual ?
As I understand:
The definition that is commonly used for satyam is related to its nityam
trikaala abhaadhitam satyam - that which does not undergo any negation in
three periods of time is satyam.
Transformation of an object from state A to state B - pariNaama is not
considered as satyam although Dvaitins and VishishhTaadvaitins use that as
the sufficient definition for satyam. If PariNaama is included then Jagat
or the world that continuously undergoes transformation becomes Satyam -
That is why they say - Jagat satyam, Paramaatma satyam and Jeeva satyam.
The three satyams. Creation is PariNaama - transformation from suukshmam
to stuulam - from subtle form to gross form - that is what happens during
Pralaya - or from individual point from deep sleep state to waking state.
Their model is in a way self consistent.
Now, here is the problem. If transformation is allowed as part of the
satyam - then how one recognizes that transformation - hence there must be
something which does not undergo the transformation with reference to which
the transformation is recognized or measured. That is, there must be
another vastu or object that is trasformationless to recognize the
transformed states, before and after. Hence we are now left with two
degrees of satyams - one that can undergo transformation and the other that
remains without undergoing any transformations which forms a basis to
measure all trasformations. This reduces back to adviatic interpretation -
that which does not undergo any transformation is the satyam. Now the
mater that undergoes transformation can not be neither satyam by this
definition nor astyam since it appears to be there. Hence it is called
mitya - apparently real. But even this mitya vastu has the substratum that
which remain with out undergoing any transformation - that substratum is
the very existence itself- that is the nitya vastu. There is absolutely
asatya vastu - the standard example is - vandyaa putraH - son of a barren
To go one step further, mater being jadam or inert, to recognize its
existence, and its transformations, consciousness-existence is required.
Hence jada vastu cannot have an independent existence without the
consciousness lending its support. Since consciousness and the inert are
diametrically opposite - knowledge vs ignorance, there can not be any true
relation between them as the relation between two objects. Hence advaita
concludes that existence of matter as matter and its pariNaama or
transformations are only apparent transformations or adyaasa - an apparent
superimposition. One plus many apparent is only one although it appears to
be many - hence advaita - non-dual.
Same arguments with respect to dream - If dream is satyam then there must
be higher satyam in the dream which knows the changes in the dream. In
either case we have to admit degrees of satyam - one that undergoes
pariNaam and one that does not undergo pariNaama. We are back to adviatic
Now I have a question to adviatic experts -
Is there a reference in scriptures for the advaitic definitio of
satyam - Trikaala abhaaditam - or equivalent statements to that effect.
Naval Research Laboratory
Washington D.C. 20375
More information about the Advaita-l mailing list