saattvika tyaagam

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian ramakris at EROLS.COM
Mon Dec 6 21:02:35 CST 1999

Kartik Jayanarayanan <kartik at ECE.UTEXAS.EDU> wrote:

> There is, however, some shruti basis for this practise (saattvika
> In the atharvashI.rshhaganapati upanishhad (part of the atharva
veda, this
> is chanted during vinAyaka chaturthi even by yajur vedins), one of
> prayers is:
> tvaM eva pratyakshaM brahmAsi .
> (Verily, You are the perceptibly evident Brahman.)
> Without doubt, Ganesha is being hailed as the Ishvara. And also:
> tvaM eva kevalaM kartAsi .
> (Verily, You alone are the doer.)

The verses run:

tvameva kevalam kartAsi | [Verily, you alone are the *creator*]
tvameva kevalam dhartAsi | [Verily, you alone are the *protector*]
tvameva kevalam hartAsi | [Verily, you alone are the *destroyer*]

To stress the point even more, the upanishad summarizes the above

tvameva sarvamkhlavidam brahmAsi [Verily, you alone are the brahman
who is the cause of everything]

Clearly, the verse has nothing to do with the realization that the
jIva being the doer is unreal and Ishvara is really the doer of those
acts. The kartR^itvam in the verse is about the creation of the world.

Even if there is such a verse in any shruti or smR^iti, there is the
question of exegetical consistency.

For example, the non-advaita schools may interpret the above verses as
supporting the reality of the world.  Advaitins interpret these verses
as affirming the unreality of the world, i.e., the appearances of name
and form. The reason can be found in any of sha.nkara's works or the
gauDapAda kArika. Ergo, clearly advaita is better shruti exegesis :-).


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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