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.
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