[Advaita-l] Slokas from sanatsujAtIyam

S.N. Sastri sn.sastri at gmail.com
Thu Oct 12 01:30:41 CDT 2006

Here are three interesting Slokas from sanatsujAtIyam (in mahAbhAratam):--

na vedAnAm veditA kascidasti

vedena vedam na vidurna vedyam|

yo veda vedam sa ca veda vedyam

yo veda vedyam na sa veda satyam||  (sanatsujAtIyam, 2.42)

Meaning (based on SrI Sankara's bhAshya):

None of the Vedas can know paramAtman who is pure consciousness. The Vedas
cannot by themselves help us to know either Him or the world. One who knows
the Knower (paramAtman) knows also the knowable (world). But one who knows
only the known (the world) does not know the Reality (paramAtman).

Note: paramAtman is of the nature of pure consciousness. He can never be
known as He is never an object. The knowable is the world which is inert.
This can never be the knower. None of the Vedas can know Him as he is not
accessible to words. Vedas consist of words and so they cannot reveal
paramAtman. The world, which is knowable (vedyam), depends on the Knower
(paramAtman) for becoming an object of knowledge and so the Vedas which are
devoid of consciousness cannot by themselves give knowledge of the world.
One who knows paramAtman knows the world also because the world does not
have an independent existence apart from paramAtman. The br.up. says that by
knowing paramAtman all this becomes known. But one who knows only the world
does not know the Reality (paramAtman).

yo veda vedAn sa ca veda vedyam

na tam vidurvedavido na vedAH |

tathApi vedena vidanti vedam

ye brAhmaNa vedavido bhavanti || 2.43

   He who knows the Vedas knows only the universe of objects. Neither the
Vedas nor the knower of the Vedas can know Brahman, since Brahman cannot be
objectified. All the same, Brahmanas (enlightened persons) who know how to
understand the purport of the Vedas know Brahman through the Vedas.

kAlena pAdam labhate tathAyam

tathaiva  paadam guruyogatasca |

utsAhayogena ca pAdamRcchet

SAstreNa pAdam ca tato'bhiyAti || 3.13

   The disciple learns one-fourth from the Guru, one-fourth by his own
industry, one-fourth by discussion with his co-disciples and one-fourth by
the ripening of the knowledge through the efflux of time. (The expression
'through the Sastras' in the last line means 'by discussion with other
disciples' according to Sri Sankara).

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