[Advaita-l] Two Slokas from sanatsujAtIyam

S.N. Sastri sn.sastri at gmail.com
Mon Sep 17 23:10:37 CDT 2007

I am giving below two interesting Slokas from sanatsujAtIyam (in
mahAbhAratam), chapter 2. The beauty of the Slokas is in the alliteration.
The word 'vedam' has been used in the unusual sense of 'brahman'. The word
'vedyam' means 'what is knowable' and so it denotes the whole world of
objects. The translation given below is based on the bhAshya of Sri Sankara.

na vedAnAm veditA kaScidasti

vedena vedam na vidur na vedyam |

yo veda vedam sa ca veda vedyam

yo veda vedyam na sa veda satyam ||42

42.The vedas cannot know brahman, since brahman, being pure consciousness,
is not an object of knowledge. vedas are insentient and so neither brahman
nor the world can be known through them. He who knows brahman knows the
entire universe of objects, since, by knowing brahman everything is known.
But he who knows only the universe of objects does not know brahman.

yo veda vedAn sa ca veda vedyam

na tam vidur vedavido na vedAh |

tathApi vedena vidanti vedam

ye brAhmaNA vedavido bhavanti ||43

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.


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