Life and Soul

Thu Feb 12 10:38:37 CST 1998

sarvebhyo namaH,
  Miguel's confusion with the many Sanskrit
words related to "consciousness" is understandable
and yet, explainable.
  First of all, Swami Dayaananda made it very
clear from the beginning that there are certain
"prakaarana" books written by shrii shaNkara that
introduced the wisdom of vedaanta (Advaita Vedanta
as we know it) to those who were seeking mokSha
and who were eager to learn about the spiritual
world. Those books are with us today so that we
may all benefit from them:  "tattvabodha",
"aatmaabodha", "vivekachuuDaamaNii", and
"pa~nchadashii".  These books give the meanings
to many of the words that Miguel had asked about.
I would like to share these meanings with you
with definitions from Apte's Sanskrit-English
Dictionary and Monier-Williams' Sanskrit English
Dictionary and would appreciate any feedback
from anyone as long as they overlook my "upaadhi".
This isn't one of the words that Miguel asked
about, but it is an important one in understanding
the "self/aatmaa/consciousness":

  upaadhi:  That which is put in the place of
another thing, a substitute, substitution;
anything which may be taken for or has the mere
name or appearance of another thing, appearance,
phantom, disguise (said to be applied to certain
forms or properties considered as disguises of the
spirit; anything defining more closely, a peculiarity;
an attribute . . .; title, discriminative appellation,
nickname; limitation, qualification; . . . that
which is placed under, supposition, condition; . . .
deception, deceit.

  "aatmaabodha", in verse 10, states:

yathaakaasho hR^iShiikesho
  naanopaadhigato vibhuH |
  tannaashe kevalo bhavet.h ||10||

  "The all-pervading aakaasha appears to be
diverse on account of its association with
various conditionings (upaadhis) which are
different from each other. Space becomes one on
the destruction of these limiting adjuncts; So
also the Omnipresent Truth appears to be diverse
on account of Its association with the various
upaadhis and becomes one on the destruction of
these upaadhis."

  ShaNkara's commentary explains that ". . . the
One Unchanging substratum persists in all Its
splendor. This, we variously call as the Brahman,
the Paramatman, the Sat-Chit-Ananda, etc. This
Supreme Being alone is the dynamic Truth, and no
differentiation is possible in this state of
Absolute Reality."  Further, ". . . when an individual-
ego associates with its various limiting factors
(upaadhis) the cause for this world-of-plurality
comes to manifest. When once these forces of
limitation are destroyed, the One Truth that is
the basis of existence for everything shines
forth . . ."

More tomorrow . . .


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