[Advaita-l] nAsadIya sUkta in the taittirIya brAhmaNa - part 1
agnimile at gmail.com
Mon Mar 6 08:52:37 EST 2017
Sri gurubhyo namah.
I was recently looking at the taittirIya brAhmaNa for something and was
surprised to see the nAsadIya sUkta from the tenth maNDala of the rigveda
occurring at the end of the second kANDa of the taittirIya brAhmaNa
(specifically, TB 18.104.22.168).
Curious, I looked into the sAyaNa bhAShya for this portion to understand in
which context this sUkta was being used.
As the bhAShya itself could be of interest to students of advaita and
because it reveals a philosophical side to sAyaNAchArya, which often tends
to get overlooked by many, I will attempt to present his bhAShya to this
portion in a series of posts.
First rca: नासदासीन्नो सदासीत्तदानीम् | नासीद्रजो नो व्योमापरो यत् |
किमावरीव: कुह कस्य शर्मन् | अम्भ: किमासीद्गहनं गभीरम् इति |
यदा पुर्वसृष्टि: प्रलीनोत्तरसृष्टिश्च नोत्पन्ना *तदानीम्* सदसती द्वे अपि
नाभूताम् | when the previous creation was resolved and the next creation
had not yet come into being, at that time, sat and asat were both not
नामरूपविशिष्टत्वेन स्पष्टं प्रतीयमानं जग*त्सच्छ*ब्देनोच्यते |
नरविषाणादिसमानं शून्य*मसदि*त्युच्यते | The world, endowed with name and
form and is clearly perceivable, is referred to by the word "sat".
Absolutely non-existent things, comparable to men's horns etc. are referred
to by the word "asat".
तदुभयं *नासीत्* | Neither of these two existed.
किन्तु काचिदव्यक्तावस्थासीत् | On the contrary, there was an unamnifest
state in existence.
सा च विस्पष्टत्वाभावान्न सती जगदुत्पादकत्वेन सद्भावान्नाप्यसती नो सदासीदिति
यत्सङ्ग्रहेणोक्तम् तदेव प्रपञ्च्यते - That unmanifest state, because it was
not available for direct perception, was not sat. Because it also would be
the cause for the world which was of the nature of sat, was not asat
either. That which was briefly mentioned as "sat was not there" is being
*नासीद्रजो* रज:शब्देन सत्वरजस्तमोगुणत्रयमुपलक्ष्यते तत्त्रयं नासीत् -
neither was there "rajas" - by the word rajas, the three guNas being
sattva, rajas and tamas are being referred. None of the three was there.
*नो व्यॊम*, आकाशवाचिना व्योमशब्देन भूतपञ्चकमुपलक्ष्यते तदपि नासीत् | There
was no "vyoma". By the word vyoma, which means space, all the five elements
are referred. None of the five elements were there too.
यथोक्तगुणत्रयपञ्चभूतापेक्षया*ऽपर:* पदार्थोऽन्यो गिरिनदीसमुद्रादिको *यद्यो*
दृश्यते सोऽपि नासीत् | Things that are inferior to the previously mentioned
triguNas and pancha bhUtas - that is, things that are different to these
two - such as mountains, rivers, oceans, in other words, whatever is seen,
were not there too.
यथा भूतानि नाऽऽसंस्तद्भौतिकमपि नाऽऽसीदित्यर्थ: | What is meant is that,
just like the elements were not there, things that were born out of a
combination of the elements, the elementals (bhautikam), were also not in
अनेन भूतभौतिक गुणत्रयनिषेधेन ब्रह्माण्डस्य निषेध: सम्पन्न: | By this
negation of elements, elementals and the three guNAs, the entire universe
has been negated.
अण्डाद्बहिर्महत्तत्वाद्यावरणानि पौराणिका वदन्ति तदेतदावरणजातमाक्षेपवाचिना
*किं*शब्देन निषिध्यते | Certain paurANikas say that beyond the universe
(literally egg, referring to HiraNyagarbha) are certain concealing factors,
tattvas such as mahat, etc. This entire group of concealing factors is
refuted by the use of the word "kim" in the mantra.
आवरणस्य दृष्टिविषयभूतम् किञ्चिदाव्रियमाणमपेक्षितम् | every AvaraNa, a
concealing factor, requires something that is the object of its concealment.
तत्राण्डाभावा*त्किमावरीव:* किं नाम वस्तु तैरावरणैराव्रियेत | Because this
universe itself was not present, the mantra asks "kimAvarIva:", what is the
object that is concealed by AvaraNa?
अत: सावरणकस्यासम्भवादावरणमपि न सम्भवतीत्यर्थ: | Therefore, because there
was nothing to conceal, the AvaraNa itself was not there.
*कुहे*ति देशाक्षेप: | with "kuha", desha, or space is negated.
निमित्ताक्षेप: *कस्य शर्मन्नि*ति | with "kasya sharman", the nimitta, or
the agent, the entity for whose pleasure (all this is happening), is
कुत्र देशे कस्य भोक्तु: सुख निमित्तमिदमावरणम् स्यात् , न त्वस्ति तदा
कश्चिद्देशो नापि सुखस्य भोक्ता कश्चिद्विद्यते | In what location, for whose
enjoyment this concealment exists? There was no place nor an enjoying agent
अत्र कश्चिन्मन्दो, अवान्तरप्रलविषयाम् "आपो वा इदमग्रे सलिलमासीत्" इति
श्रुतिं श्रुत्वा महाप्रलयेऽपि तथाविधं जलमस्ति भ्राम्यति तद् भ्रमव्युदासाय
जलं निषिध्यते | Here, some dull people, having heard the shruti words "
this (world) existed before as waters, an ocean" in another
context, mistakenly think that at the time of the great dissolution too
there were waters as described. To remove that delusion, waters have been
*गहनं* प्रवेष्टुमशक्यं *गभीरम*गाधत्वेनावस्थातुमप्यशक्यं यद*म्भ*स्त
*त्किमासीत्त*दपि नाऽऽसीदित्यर्थ: | How can waters remain in that
impenetrable (gahanam), inscrutable (gabhIram) - called so on account of
its profundity - (entity)? Not so.
(to be continued)...
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