[Advaita-l] Pancikarana vs. Trivrtkarana (analysis)

Bhadraiah Mallampalli vaidix at hotmail.com
Wed Apr 15 08:28:02 CDT 2009

Dear Shri Bhattacharjya,
>we can explain the whole lot of chemical and physical phenomena. But at the higher level >if we talk of quarks and anti-quarks etc. it becomes difficult to relate
If we can not relate something that is not knowledge at all. This is after considering randomness, fuzziness, uncertainty and other acknowledged systemic issues. 
>Similar may be the case with the Trvrtkarana and Pancikarana. At the highest level the >Brahmajnani may perceive the process of creation as Pancikarana but for the yogi who has >not yet attained that supreme state the Trivrtkarana may the stepping stone to >understanding the process of creation.
There is no need to subordinate trivrtkarana to panchikarana or subordinate anything to anything else unless Shruti specifically says so for a given context. As Sankara states in bhashya of Ch.U.VI, the trivrtkarana process which explains how creation is done by three fold splitting also explains the process of how a person dies and as a corollary it explains how a person acquires knowledge (and serves to answer the original question of Svetaketu how unknown becomes known). Sankara would not say so clearly if it was not so. 
IMO, Ch.U.VI.15.1-2 together with Br.U.I.v.3-8 is ironically not a "brahmavidya" any more as we have sufficient leads. But research into and practice of subjects like trivrtkarana is somewhat different from physical sciences because in the latter you don't get personally involved - you just use a gadget or instrument whereas in the former it gets very personal; so unless there is a confluence of factors like personal interest it is difficult to verify these topics. 

Panchikaranam likewise is a work "meant to be used by sanyasis who want to renouce the world", but applying Sankara's own logic for trivrtkaranam, we can say the subject of panchikaranam can very well be (mis?)used to acquire knowledge. Just substitute the words 'The process how a person dies' with 'The process how a person renouces this world'. It is as simple as that. Technically speaking, the panchikarana process of how elements merge into each other finally ending up with space which can only transmit sound (of shruti) may involve some functionality from the Samas mentioned in C.h.U.I.6 & I.7 after applying the arguments in I.1.4-7 to derive the syllable AUM from each Sama. This is my cryptic answer and any followup is strictly based on interest. If you want to eliminate an element or merge one into another you do need a sama.  
>Secondly I think we should not really make a fuss of the divisions of the Vedas saying that >this is a Yajurvedic concerpt and that the other is a Samavedic concept. 
Br.U.I.v.3-8 differentiates different branches of veda based on components of knowledge. Each veda operates differently, but this is from upanishat portion if that matters.
>... all the Vedas and the Puranas together were called Yajurveda before Vedavyasa >undertook the division of the Vedas into the four Vedas 
If everything was yajurveda, it was probably because there used to be a rite for every mantra that was known, and there is no mantra that could not be placed in a rite. (Somewhat like Nagarjuna's statement that there was no plant that could not be used in a medicine.) By the time of Maharshi Vyas we may have lost some rites, hence the physical division.  

You can check the texts here. 




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