Govind Rengarajan govind at ISC.TAMU.EDU
Tue Nov 25 08:57:33 CST 1997

On Mon, 24 Nov 1997, Chandran, Nanda (NBC) wrote:

> the author(s) favours the Advaitam perspective. But I would like to know
> how Ramanuja and Madhva interpret statments like 'Tat vam asi' and 'Aham
> Brahmasmi' in their respective schools, which refute non-dualism. Can
> the knowledgable clarify?
        I am not sure about the exact grammatical structure of
        Sri Ramanuja's interpretation (perhaps Charles Wikner can
        shed information on this). Sri Ramanuja's interpretation
        is basically the philosophy of vishiShTAdvaita. The whole
        universe and the individual jIvAs that occupy it constitute
        the body of Sriman nArAyaNA. Granted that the universe is
        the body of Sriman nArAyaNA, in "tattvamasi", "thou"
        of course indicates the jIvA, but "that" points to the
        universe that is the body of Sriman nArAyaNA. Therefore,
        in totality, "tattvamasi" translates to (my loose
        translation) "thou form a part of Sriman nArAyaNA's
        SarIrA". Radhakrishnan says that (in his commentary
        on Chandogya U., VI.8.?), the phrase, according to
        Sri Ramanuja, means that God (nArAyaNA) is the underlying
        principle to the universe and the jIvA.

        namo nArAyaNA,

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