[Advaita-l] Interpreting "abhEda" shruti vAkyas

bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Wed Jun 11 07:06:07 CDT 2003

Bhakar prabhujI,  namaste.

> praNAm Jay prabhuji
> Hare Krishna

I gave those examples to show how abhEda  language constructs operate in
any langauge  and how they beg for an  understanding of the context in
which they show up.

>  Anyway, whatever may be your intention, for understanding the context of
abhEda shrutis you had to give examples which are not vedOkta!!  is it not
prabhuji??  If the abhEda shrutis begs for contextual meaning according to
prasthAna trayi to uphold the bhEda shrutis, why you did not provide us the
shAstra pramANya for it prabhuji?? that is my humble question..

Sri VidyAshankar asked me a question on what this "context" is, and also
he said  no context is needed for the statement "I am  I".

Ofcourse, "I am I" ,  "He is He",  "sky is sky"  all such  identity
statetments talk about identity of a thing with itself.  It is a
degenerated case of identity.   No new knowledge is  generated by such

>  Not exactly prabhuji, *I am I* is asmat pratyaya & it is prama very much
required to define sky is sky, he is he etc. as a vishaya (yushmat
pratyaya).  So, when brahma jnAna revealed to asmat pratyaya it is not an
external knowledge it is his swarUpa/own nature without any adjuncts.

When I say "in its context",  it means how  this "abhEda  phrase"  is part
of a larger sentence, and how that larger sentence is  part of what is
being discussed.   What is being discussed  becomes known only if you look
at couple of sentences prior to  this  larger  sentence in the paragraph
which has the abhEda phrase  in  it.

While deriving the  meaning of the "abhEda phrase" we MUST take into
consideration all of these.  That is exactly what I mean by  "context".

>  Here *we* means dualists, advaitins hold the abhEda shrutis as primary
purports & treat the bhEda shrutis contextually as subsidiary to understand
admaikatva vAda.

"brahma vA idamagra Aseet tadAtmAnamEva avEt aham brahmMsmIti"
The ever-present Brahman, before creation, thought to Itself as "aham

So,  if anyone says that upanishats talk of the identity of jeeva and
Brahman, and quote "aham brahmAsmi" then it simply means  that  this
context has been thrown out of the window while saying  so.

In the context of that upanishat,  "aham brahmAsmi" is what Brahman
thought to Himself before Creation.   It is part of a  sentence.  It does
not talk about jeeva at all !!  It does not talk about any identity of
jeeva and Brahman.

>  yes U R right prabhuji, it does not talk about any identity of jIva &
brahma since the notion of jIvatva itself  sprount out of avidya!!    Y'day
I had quoted chandOgya upanishad verse which clearly says Atman alone is
below, Atman above, Atman behind, Atman in front, Atman on the right, Atman
on the left.  All this is Atman alone (sarvamiti). then where is the
question of separate jIva prabhuji??  If you see Sh. Up. yEgnEyaM
nityamEvAtma samsthaM nAtaH param vEditavyam hi kinchit! bhOktA bhOgyam
prEritAraM cha matvA sarvam proktaM trividham brahmamEtat.  It is clearly
mentioned that bhOktru, bhOgya & Eshvara all brahman only.  When he is all
where is separate jIvatva here prabhuji??  See again same Br. Up. prabhuji
which says : sa yOt EkoukamuNaste na sa vEdakrutsnO....sarvaH Ekam bhavanti
( my transliteration not good pls. look for original text) meaning "so
whosoever devotes himself to any one of these concepts, he knows not the
truth; for he becomes only partial by being tied to these ideas severally.
One should regard oneself as the Atman alone, for herein are comprehended
all these ideas"  shruti here very clear that to regard oneself as the
living soul, as a speaker,seer, hearer or thinker is to conceive oneself
partially, these are notions triggered out from the functions of the soul.
But the most appropriate way of identifying oneself is to think of oneself
is the Atman coz. in the Atman all the other aspects are comprehended.
Based on this we have this mahAvAkya prabhuji *aham brahmAsmi*  Hope it is
clear atleast from the advaitic perspective.

> Hari Hari Hari Bol!!
> bhaskar

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