Vachyartha and Lakshyartha of ' Tat Tvam Asi'

Srikrishna Ghadiyaram srikrishna_ghadiyaram at YAHOO.COM
Fri Feb 15 19:03:29 CST 2002

Hari Om !!

While explaining the meaning of 'Tat Tvam Asi', Swami Sivananda writes
in 'Vedanta for Beginners'

" a) Maya (in combination ...) b) Chidasabhasa or the reflection of Chit
contained in them  c) Brahman, the substratum for them - All of these  go
together to make up the Vachyartha of the word Tat.

To sum up, Maya and the rest (the gross, subtle and cosmic bodies), the
Consciousness associated with Her and endowed with omniscience, rulership,
etc. (by Consciousness Isvara, Hiranyagarbha and Avyakriti and meant
here ), and Pure eternal Consciousness not associated with any of the
foregoing things, - when these three appear as an inseparable whole like a
red-hot iron ball, they become the primary meaning of the word Tat."

In another place he writes,
"Thus there is Anyonya Adhyasa between Brahman and Isvara, and this Adhyasa
can be annihilated only through knowledge born of discrimination."

Under the heading 'Lakshyartha of the word Tat', he writes:
" That Pure, unassociated Consciousness which remains after avoiding maya
and Her retinue and Chidabhasa, and which serves as the substratum of all
these things, i.e of the limiting adjuncts and of Isvara limited by them,
becomes the implied meaning or lakshyartha of the word Tat"

Similar statements are made about Avidya, Chidabhasa (Jiva) and Kutastha.

My doubts are:

1. Why is he separating Chidabhasa (in this case Isvara) from Brahman, the
substratum ? Are these two distinct entities, that we have to count three
components of 'Tat' ?

2. Why is 'Adhyasa' being talked about between Brahman and Isvara ? Till
now I thought Adhyasa is between Brahman and Prakriti only.

If we count Isvara and Brahman as separate, and Jiva and Brahman  as
separate 'entities' will it not reflect Dvaita thought ?

3. Till now I have been thinking the Chidabhasa (limited by Upadhis) is
Jiva or Isvara (Jivatma and Paramatma when removed of upadhis). But the
above statements are giving me a feeling of two different entities of
Chidabhasa and Brahman (Chidabhasa and Kutastha).

4. Does it mean that the Jivas are hanging as distinct entities in
Brahman ? Is it not contradictory to Absolute Advaita thought ?

Kindly give your enlightened views.

Om namo Narayanaya !!


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