[Advaita-l] Tamas, physical darkness, is a positive object

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Aug 12 02:17:06 EDT 2017

Here is a verse from the Panchadashi which says that 'when we close our
eyes, the internal darkness is perceived':

In the second chapter titled 'pancha mahā bhūta viveka', Swami Vidyaranya
is explaining the source of the sense/motor organs, their objects, etc.
After saying that the organs are largely turned outwards, he says that the
objects of perception present inside the body too can sometimes be

कदाचित्पिहिते कर्ण्णेश्रूयते शब्द आन्तरः। प्राणवायौ जा-ठराग्नौ
जलपानेऽन्नभक्षणे।  8
व्यज्यन्तेह्यान्तराः स्पर्शा मीलने चान्तरं तमः। उद्गारे रसगन्धौ
चेत्यक्षाणामा-न्तरग्रहः। 9

8. But sometimes we hear the sounds made by our in-going and out-going
breaths, and we hear buzzing sound when our ears are stopped. We feel an
internal sensation of hot and cold when food and water are swallowed.

9. *When our eyes are closed, we see inside the inner darkness*, and in
belching we experience taste and odour. Thus the sense organs give rise to
experience of things within the physical body.


On Thu, Jul 20, 2017 at 6:24 PM, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>

> Tamas, physical darkness, is a positive object
> In the BSB 1.3.40, Shankara says: ‘एष सम्प्रसादोऽस्माच्छरीरात्समुत्थाय
> परं ज्योतिरुपसम्पद्य स्वेन रूपेणाभिनिष्पद्यते’ (छा. उ. ८ । १२ । ३)
> <http://advaitasharada.sringeri.net/display/bhashya/Chandogya?page=8&id=Ch_C08_S12_V03&hl=%E0%A4%8F%E0%A4%B7%20%E0%A4%B8%E0%A4%AE%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AA%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%B8%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%A6%E0%A5%8B%E0%A4%BD%E0%A4%B8%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AE%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%9A%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%9B%E0%A4%B0%E0%A5%80%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B8%E0%A4%AE%E0%A5%81%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%A5%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%AF%20%E0%A4%AA%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%82%20%E0%A4%9C%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AF%E0%A5%8B%E0%A4%A4%E0%A4%BF%E0%A4%B0%E0%A5%81%E0%A4%AA%E0%A4%B8%E0%A4%AE%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AA%E0%A4%A6%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AF%20%E0%A4%B8%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B5%E0%A5%87%E0%A4%A8%20%E0%A4%B0%E0%A5%82%E0%A4%AA%E0%A5%87%E0%A4%A3%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%AD%E0%A4%BF%E0%A4%A8%E0%A4%BF%E0%A4%B7%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AA%E0%A4%A6%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AF%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%87> इति
> श्रूयते । तत्र संशय्यते — किं ज्योतिःशब्दं *चक्षुर्विषयतमोपहं तेजः*, किं
> वा परं ब्रह्मेति ।
> Does the word 'jyotis' in the Chandogya passage 8.12.3 refer to the
> physical light that dispels darkness that envelops objects perceptible to
> the eye or the Supreme Brahman?
> From the usage  *चक्षुर्विषयतमोपहं*   it is clear that darkness is a
> positive entity that is also popularly understood as 'absence of light' and
> that it is dispelled by light. In any case that darkness is admitted by the
> Vedantin as an object that is grasped by the eye is what we understand from
> the usage. We do have the Upanishad itself admitting darkness, tamas, as a
> specific entity and not as an abhava. In the antaryami brahmanam 3.7.13 is
> this mantra:

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list