Siva Senani Nori sivasenani at yahoo.com
Sun Mar 12 22:16:49 CST 2006

--- "Dr. Yadu Moharir" <ymoharir at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Namaste:
>   Actually there is a need to separate these two and our ancestors had done
> this very effectively through invocation of "gaNesha".  That helps one
> discriminate between the two.
>   Example:
>   The two common names that come to mind are "sumukha"  and "sanmukha".
>   First being associated with the "svaruupa  (apparent - visible)" where as
> the latter pertains to the "svabhaava (guNa-dharma that is true)"


What Dr. Yadu says is the reverse of what Sri Sadananda proposed. Dr. Yadu,
rightly IMO, says that svAbhAvika is the more accurate of the two; but in Sri
Sadananda's view svAbhAvika laxaNa is only a necessary condition, while svarUpa
laxaNa is a necessary and sufficient condition implying that it is the more
accurate of the two. My point was precisely that such confusion needs to be

Meanwhile Sri Sadananda and I corresponded offline on the topic. The gist of
that correspondence was that Sri Sadananda felt that it was all well to say
that new precise meanings are being attributed to the two words, but wondered
if there is an alternative. I suggested sampUrNa laxaNa, and recalled that Sri
Sankara in his bhAshyam on taittirIyopanishat, specifically on "satyam
j~nAnamanantam brahma" makes an argument similar to the one made by Sri
Sadananda without using the two new words. Sri Sadananda pointed out the
limitations of 'sampUrNa laxaNa' as an alternative and wanted to know the
relevant excerpts from the AchArya's bhAshyam. Reproduced below is my reply to
him giving the excerpts.


I have checked SA~NkarabhAshyam and here are the relevant parts.

First, the AchArya clarifies that the adjectives apply only to the object -
Brahman - and that they are not related to each other. "satyAdiSabdA na
parasparam sambadhyante parArthatvAt. viSeshyArthA hi te. ata ekaiko
viSeshaNaSabdah parasparam nirapexyo brahmaSabdena sambadhyate 'satyam brahma',
'j~nAnam brahma', 'anantam brahma' iti."

Then he discusses the meaning of satyam as that which does not change: "atah
satyam brahmeti brahmavikArAnnivartayati."

At this stage in your treatment 'sat' is agreed as a necessary condition, but
not being sufficient. The same is pointed out by the AchArya: "atah kAraNatvam
prAptam brahmaNah. kAraNasya cha kArakatvam vastutvAt mridvat achidrUpatA cha
prAptA atah idamuchyate j~nAnaam brahmeti." (But this could imply that Brahman
is a material cause like mud, and hence inert. Therefore it is said: j~nAnam

Similarly he weaves infiniteness of Brahman into the commentary without using
any additional technical terms. Finally, he concludes (after dispelling five
doubts on the same topic) thus: "evam satyAdiSabdA itaretara sam.nidhau
anyonyaniyamaniyAmakAh santah satyAdiSabdavAchyAt tannivartakA brahmaNo
laxaNArthAScha bhavanti." (Thus, satyam etc. qualify each other and define

Thus we see that the AchArya has avoided the usage of additional terms by
pointing out the insufficiency of one of the qualifiers. On the whole, I
appreciate that terminology cuts down the length of explanations, but the two
new technical terms proposed in Sanskrit seem to be avoidable, and adding
confusion to an already complicated field. Of course we can always make the
argument similar to yours in English or any other language, without introducing
new meanings to the two Sanskrit words.


P. S.: While quoting the reverred AchArya's bhAshyam above, I provided rough
translations of the central meaning. I hope that I have not introduced any distortions.

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