bhaskar.yr at IN.ABB.COM
Tue May 16 23:20:19 CDT 2000
Dear Prabhujis of Advita-L,
Sripada Shankaracharya had projected the verse, 'tat tvam asi' as the
Maha-vakya. But "Aum" or "Om" is the Pranava-mantra as well as the Maha-vakya,
as far as the Vedic Scriptures are concerned. This fact is well established in
the Bhagavad Gita also. The verse, 'Om Tat Sat' is a representation of the
Supreme Absolute Truth.
In the Bhagavad Gita, the Lord confirms this as follows:
om tat sad iti nirdeso
brahmanas tri-vidhah smrtah
brahmanas tena vedas ca
yajnas ca vihitah pura
"From the beginning of creation, the three words om tat sat were used to
indicate the Supreme Absolute Truth. These three symbolic representations were
used by brahmanas while chanting the hymns of the Vedas and during sacrifices
for the satisfaction of the Supreme."
tad ity anabhisandhaya
dana-kriyas ca vividhah
"Without desiring fruitive results, one should perform various kinds of
sacrifice, penance and charity with the word tat. The purpose of such
transcendental activities is to get free from material entanglement."
'Om Tat Sat' is derived from the following verses:
'Om ity etad brahmano nedistham nama', which is known as the first goal,
'tat tvam asi', which is known as the second goal, and
'sad eva saumya', which is known as the third goal.
The first words of these three mantras represent the Supreme Absolute Truth. The
verse "Om tat sat" is always used in conjunction with "Om tad visnoh". The verse
'tat tvam asi' is from the Chandogya Upansihad (6.8.7) and the actual verse is
'tat tvam asi, ayam atma brahma: both are spirit'. The explanations given by the
advitins for the verses 'tat tvam asi' would be to prove their monist
philosophy. They would say it means 'thou art that' and thus the jivatma and the
Paramatma are the same. This explanation would be interesting for a first
standard kid. To a first standard kid, we can say, "you also are an animal", and
he would understand and accept that the human species also belongs to the
division of animals. But to a tenth standard student, one has to also explain
the similarities between the two classes, since he'd know that humans are not
completely similar to that of, say a dog, but there are certain similar
characteristics which allows the human species to be classified under the animal
class of living entities. 'tat tvam asi' meaning 'you are the same' and 'so
aham' meaning 'I am the same', convey to us the fact that the jivatma is
qualitatively the same as the Paramatma. This is the basis of understanding the
Supreme Absolute Truth.
Even very prominent western philsophers have done extensive research on the
beginning of pantheism in so-called Hindusim, due to the influence of the advita
philosophy. The Lord says in the Bhagavad Gita that though He is present
everywhere in His impersonal form, and everything rests on Him, still He is not
present everywhere personally. This is the basis of the
achinthya-bedhabedha-tattva, the philosophy of inconceivable and simultaneous
oneness and difference. The complete denial of the existence of the personal
Bhagavan feature of the Lord is like that of the understaing capability of a
first standard boy. The Lord clearly says that He (the person Lord Krishna) is
the original source of the all-pervading impersonal Brahman, 'brahmano hi
prathisthaham'. He also says that there is no truth which is superior to Him
(Lord Krishna), 'mattah parataram nanyat'. We've been sent to the material world
from the Spiritual World, to rectify and reform our defect of considering
ourselves equal to the Lord, and even if here we cling on to a theory of
oneness, it is a sign of perpetual ignorance of the jivatma through many many
This is confirmed by Srila Madhvacharya as follows:
vismaran samsared iha
abhinnam samsaram yati
tamo nasty atra samsayah
"When one thinks that the living entity is non-different in all respects from
the Supreme Lord, there is no doubt that he is in ignorance (tamah)".
As for the projection that 'tat tvam asi' is the Maha-vakya, it is unacceptable
as long as one complies with the authority of the Vedic Scriptures. Omkara is
the Pranava-mantra. Omkara is the Maha-vakya. Omkara is the principle Vedic
mantra. Omkara is the sound incarnation of the Lord Himself.
This is confirmed by the Lord in the Bhagavad Gita as follows:
pitaham asya jagato
mata dhata pitamahah
vedyam pavitram omkara
rk sama yajur eva ca
"I am the father of this universe, the mother, the support and the grandsire. I
am the object of knowledge, the purifier and the syllable Om. I am also the Rg,
the Sama and the Yajur Vedas."
raso 'ham apsu kaunteya
sabdah khe paurusam nrsu
"O son of Kunti, I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the
syllable Om in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether and ability in man."
The Lord also emphasises on the significance of the Pranava-mantra as follows,
om ity ekaksaram brahma
vyaharan mam anusmaran
yah prayati tyajan deham
sa yati paramam gatim
"After being situated in this yoga practice and vibrating the sacred syllable
Om, the supreme combination of letters, if one thinks of the Supreme Personality
of Godhead and quits his body, he will certainly reach the spiritual planets."
tasmad om ity udahrtya
"Therefore, transcendentalists undertaking performances of sacrifice, charity
and penance in accordance with scriptural regulations begin always with Om, to
attain the Supreme."
It is clearly stated in the above verse that all Vedic mantras are begun with
the Maha-mantra Om. All performances of sacrifice, charity and penance should
also be begun with Om. Considering all these facts as in the Vedic Scriptures,
one cannot but to accept this whole-heartedly.
Right now I am reading one book titled "Maha Yoga" written by WHO ( Mr. K.
Lakshmana Sharma) published by Ramanashramam, Tiruvannamali. In this book I
have come across one beautiful article on "BHAKTI" marga, I request your
permission to share this among Advita-L members.
Your Humble Servant
Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam
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