[Advaita-l] kUTastha

Shrinivas Gadkari sgadkari2001 at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 3 01:14:40 CST 2009


In gItA, the term kUTastha is used most strikingly in Chapter 15, shloka 16.
To the best of my knowledge veda vyAsa has not taken special efforts to
define this term either in mahAbhArata or any other purANa.

Let us analyze this term in the context of chapter 15 of gItA. Here we have
description of an ashvattha tree with roots above and branches below.  It is
possible to envision this tree like a mountain. In this case the one who is
situated at the top of this mountain like tree is kUTastha. 
- then kUTastha is the one in which this tree in anchored. 
- view point of kUTastha corresponds to samashTi view of jagat

In bhAgavatA, book 3, chapter 26, there is a brief mention of kUTastha being 
jagat ankur (initial sprouts of the world tree)

In jnAneshvarI kUTastha is identified with the state of deep sleep.



The other interesting thing about the pa~nchadashis exposition is that 
chidAbhAsa is compared to kuTastha.  This term refers to the Atma as 
silent witness (sAkShi). Literally it means "standing on a mountain" 
Perhaps the image to be conveyed is of an eagle or other bird of prey that 
watches motionless on a mountain peak before swooping down to catch its 
victim.  AFAIK, this word is used in the Gita but not in the upanishads. 
chidAbhAsa is the reflection of kuTastha.
Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>


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