[Advaita-l] Sandhyopasana - Savita

Bhadraiah Mallampalli vaidix at hotmail.com
Wed Mar 18 11:10:03 CDT 2009


Shri Vidyasankar,


>And we will never know the original poet's intention if >we Speculate, will we?


I am looking forward to a day in kRtayuga when everyone speaks Shruti, 

that includes speculations, even devi Saraswati's baby talk.


>Why not pick up the bhAshya and study what >SankarAcArya says about the original intention?

Due to natural ignorance and laziness I am still trying get rid of, 

I haven't opened my BSB for several years and I am short of other books as well. 

No idea what gems I am missing and what other contexts there are.


Regarding one context, Shruti itself uses and gives a translation for the word pratIka. 

It is Br.U.I.5.1 & 2. As per advaita ashrama translation:



"That the father produced seven kinds of foods through meditation and rites 

(I shall disclose). One is common to all eaters. Two he designed for the devas. 

Three he designed for himself. And one he gave to animals. On it rests everything, 

what lives what doesn't. Why are they not exhausted although they are always 

being eaten? He who knows this cause of their permanence eats food with 

Prateeka (Pre-eminence). He attains identity with devas and lives on Urja (energy? nectar?). 

These are the verses (that explain the details)."       


(Here we have a Shruti which is so kind it explains itself in detail:)



".... 'He who knows this cause of their permanence' means that the being 

(lit, Purusha, functionally here the eater) himself is the cause of their permanence, 

for he produces this food through his meditation for the time being and rites. 

If he does not do this, it will be exhausted. 'He eats food with pratIka'; pratIka 

means pre-eminence (lit., mukha, and the Shruti vakya is: iti mukham pratIkam.); 

hence the meaning is, pre-eminently...."


(I do not know exactly what word Acharya used for the term pre-eminence, 

but I guess it might be mukha or mukhya.) 


Acharya says:


"He who knows that the being who is the father of the different kinds of food is 

the cause of their permanence, pre-eminently eats food and never becomes 

a subsidiary part of it (of food). Unlike ignorant man, this sage, being the self of the foods, 

becomes only their eater, but never a food. ..."


Discussion (based on Acharya's explanations and some masala added):


Every jiva including the devas (as already discussed in Br.U.I.4.10) is a part of 

a large food chain. Every jiva who rules others treats them as food, and when 

other jivas look up to this jiva as source of food, he himself becomes a food for them. 

The administrators of the advaita list treat the list members as their food; 

and conversely when the list members look to this list for their adhyatmic food 

they very much treat the list management as their food. While every one is part of 

these food chains, none of them are beyond duality. Then who goes beyond this duality? 

One who knows that the cause of the permanence of this food being oneself. 

This person becomes pre-eminent eater of food, and reaches the same status 

of Brahman. Now why is Shruti siding with such a dictator/capitalist who treats 

everybody as a food? and why is Sankaracharya upholding such a Shruti? 

For obvious reasons: Even though pure advaita proclaims nirguna, when a division 

has to be made between eater and food, Shruti & Sankara favor the eater rather 

than food because being an eater who produces one's own food is still advaita 

whereas being food requires an additional actor called eater.


Shruti's use of the word pratIka is somewhat dramatic in the sense the 

person who attained this pre-eminence does not really push down any 

opponents or pauperize the downtrodden jivas while going up in status to be 

their ruler/eater. The person simply doesnt care any more they even exist

because he knows they will followon, as the formula he learnt (Br.U.I.5.1-2)

he can confidently handover to all others, because he thinks they are competent

to handle it (from his own viewpoiint) even though it may not be true from our

viewpoint (who are still under duality). 


(I like to discuss other contexts where the term pratIka is used, just in 

case they throw some new light on the word.)


Please offer any corrections.




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