[advaitin] Notes on BSB

Kuntimaddi Sadananda k_sadananda at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Sep 7 07:58:28 CDT 2000

>From: "Ravisankar S. Mayavaram" <miinalochanii at yahoo.com>
>namaste Sadanandaji
>1) Besides the notes of Swami Paramarthananda do you follow any other
>book on this subject. If yes, can you give  us the references. I went
>through the adhyaasa bhaashyam translation given in Apte and partly in
>Swami Vishwesvarananda. I should say, your notes are much better and
>easier to read. I thank you (again) sincerely for that.

Ravi - I am currently following mostly Swami paramaarthananda's teachings in
the order and sequence - I am also referring to book published by
Ramakrishna Mutt - Do not have reference here in the office - will give you
next time. Besides these two I am also comparing my notes with commentaries
of Vedanta Suutra-s by, I think, Veeraraaghavachar - mostly from
VishishhTaadvaita point and Nyaayasudhaasaara from Madhva point - this is
the essence of Nyaayasudha by Shree Vishvesha Tiirtha of Pejawar Mutt -
English translation of that by my God-son, Shree Gururaj, is getting
published by Pejawar Mutt. I have the initial draft of that in my file. -
These are only to compare how the interpretations differ - But I am not
going to present these here but currently sticking mostly to Shankara
Bhaashhya as taught by Swami Paramaarthananda - putting in a form that I can
understand, taking the ideas from others texts in terms of presentation.
Hopefully after completion, I will present it to Swamiji if he wants to
publish it for the benefit of others.

>2) I request you to pause the series for a week or so. I   am  (and
>probably others) still in 3a (even though I have read that twice so
>far). I want to make full use of this series. I would be grateful if it
>goes slowly and alos if other members come forward and share their

It is a very good idea.  I am trying to see what is the best combination.
The notes in IIIB are cut to half of its original. Someone suggested
by-weakly postings.  But people also forget it too, particularly since the
ideas are interconnected. Let us also hear from others readers.

Yes you are right, if other members come forward to share their insights.
That is the purpose of posting on the lists so that it can stimulate
discussions from others and we can all learn together.  As the notes are
compiled, I would like, with the permission of the discussers, to add edited
versions of these lively discussions at the end of each chapter so that it
can help those who wants to study later.  But let us see how it proceeds.

I will be out of town from Sept 17-23 and out of the country Sept 30- Oct
18. There will be gaps at that time to sit back and reflect for sometime.  I
will be in Chennai during the later dates and will be meeting Shree Swamiji
and will be discussing with him to see if I can get him on the internet.
That would be a blessing.

>In 3a - section 3.4 you seem to imply that brahman has a samanya and
>vishesha amsha. Am I reading this correct?  brahman is nirguNa, it
>cannot have any visheshha amsha at all. When we say aananda, we should
>take it to mean that it transcends sukha and duHkha.  Not that aananda
>is an attribute of brahman. In "I am samsarii" what remains is only "I

What you say is right - here from Adviata point Brahma JNaanam is not
different from 'aatma JNaanam' - aatma being a subject cannot be objectified
and any visheshhaNa belongs to objects.  Here we are just looking at the
analogy of the adhyaasa - The way that is presented is that there is a
partial knowledge of myself right now - we all know we exist and we are
conscious, but we are all searching for happiness, without knowing we are
already that happiness.  If we are already that happiness then why are we
searching -- only answer is that we donot know that we are that happiness
that we are searching.  Hence there is ignorance of ourselves and that
ignorance part is related to the happiness part or bliss part - hence in the
sat, chit and ananda, the last part is covered - since ananda is the nature
of limitlessness or infiniteness - 'anantameva anandaH', and infiniteness is
the brahman state - in that sense as though a 'particular feature'- our
infinite nature - is covered from us by ignorance.  That is aham brahma asmi
- the brahma aspect is covered.  That is our day to day experience since we
are all searching for that freedom from the limitations.  Shankara uses a
logical explanation to show that there is adhyaasa.  'I am' is not covered
where it refers to sat and chit aspect and 'brahman' part is covered.  Yet
aham brahma asmi is not an objective knowledge - it is my own true nature or
status of mine.  Hence what you say is right - what remains is only I am.
But in contrast to the current status of I am where only sat and chit are
involved , in the new I am - my understanding of I am is complete that
includes sat, chit and ananda aspects as well.  Hence there is no more
search for happiness since now I have the full understanding of myself and
not partial understanding.  Bhagavan Ramana puts this beautifully in his
Updesha Saara;

        ahami naashabaagjyahamaham taya
        spurati hRitswayam parama puurNasat.

When the 'i am' the little 'i' drops out in that place 'I AM, I AM, .."
swayam spurati - raises spontaneously in the heart or ones very core of
individuality and unlike the previous 'i am' this new ' I AM' is paramam,
supreme that is there is nothing beyond that, PuurNam, it is full or
infinite and Sat swaruupam,  eternal, meaning that understanding will not
leave you any more.  That is the ultimate.

Hence I am samsaaraii - the samsaaraii part is only the adhyaasa part and I
am part involves currently in complete understanding of myself.  With the
inquiry of myself using the light of Vedanta, I learn that I am brahman -
that limitlessness.  Limitlessness is unqualified since qualifications
belong to limiting things.  It is only I am but this new status of myself as
  'I AM' is paramam, puurNam in addition to sat chit swaruupam.

>Also one should note that, "I am" in "I am samsaari"  has many levels
>of adhyaasa in it. When I say "I am fat", I mean that my body is fat.
>It means the I the jiiva, who now I identifies itself with this body,
>thinks that this body is fat. Even I the jiiva, is something really
>mixed up with mind, etc. What I am trying to say, is there are many
>levels of super-imposition one on another, built over a long period of
>time. They have to peeled away one by one. Then what remains is "is".
>brahman being nirguNa cannot say "I am such and such", the "I am" that
>says is not brahman but something else.
>Please correct me.

Yes - Shankara himself will clarify these aspects in his adhyaasa
bhaashhyam.  Some of your questions will get clarified by the time we
complete the adhyaasa section.  I am a jiiva is the basic adhyaasa and with
that jiiva-hood identification with body, mind and intellect occurs at
different levels - all can be dumped into a single unit as dehaatma buddhi -
where deha includes sthuula, sukshma and kaaraNa shariira. These levels of
superpositions - etc are all in a way trying to explain the nature of the
snake. Ultimately all are notions at the thought level constituting 'the
ego', constituting the part of antaH karaNa. Once we recognize that it is
error, then solution is to look for how to gain the true knowledge, which
can eliminate the error. Hence Vedanta vichaara for Brahma JNaanam.
>a) Also I request the readers to refer to the article "A vedanta
>toolkit" and the threads that followed on it. In that subhanu saxenaji
>has some points on adhyasa.

I have not see these. I will look in the article.  We can request Shree
Saxenaji to provide his input on these notes - adding or subtracting and his
perspective - that will be beneficial.

>b) Is there a  good book on brahma suutra like the one on giita by
>krishna warrier, which gives the sanskrit in a more readable form with
>an accurate translation?

It is difficult to read a book and understand - at least that is my
experience.  I tried to follow a few but they always put me to sleep in no
time.  Hence these notes in a form that I can understand and follow the
logic of the analysis.

Hari OM!

>Thank you.
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