[Advaita-l] gItA bhaashhya sudhaa bindavaH - 8

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed Jul 14 12:45:27 CDT 2010

On Sun, Jul 11, 2010 at 6:20 PM, Ramakrishna Upadrasta <
uramakrishna at gmail.com> wrote:

> OM shrii kRishhNaaya namaH
> OM shrii Sankaraaya namaH
> praNAmaH,
> We continue with the series.
> 29. ekasya devasya sarvaadhyaxabhuutachaitanyamaatrasya paramaarthataH
> sarvabhogaanabhisaMbandhinaH anyasya chetanaantarasya abhaave bhoktuH
> anyasya abhaavaat.h | kiMnimittaa iyaM sR^ishhTiH ityatra
> prashnaprativachane anupapanne\, ##'## ko addhaa veda ka iha
> pravochat.h | kutam aajaataa kuta iyaM visR^ishhTiH ##'##
> ityaadimantravarNebhyaH || 9. 10 ||
> ##Threre is no other conscious being apart from the one Deity -- who
> is the witness of all as the absolute Consciousness, and who in
> reality has no contact with any kind of enjoyment -- therefore there
> is no other enjoyer.

This is a very important thought in Vedanta.  Shankaracharya bases His
exposition of the Vedanta on this seminal thought:  There is only one
conscious being.  While commenting on the crucial mantra containing the
Mahavakya 'aham Brahma asmi' (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10) He initiates
a dialogue: [The context is:  The mantra teaches that Brahman knew Itself
and as a result of this knowledge It became all.  That shows that Brahman
had ignorance of Its own true nature and this resulted in Its having the
notion of  being finite, samsari.  But owing to securing the knowledge of
Its own nature, It gave up the finite nature and became infinite,

Objection:  But is not ignorance out of place in Brahman?

Reply:  Not so, for knowledge regarding Brahman has been enjoined.  When
there has been no superimposition of silver on a mother-of-pearl, and it is
directly visible, no one takes the trouble to say it is a ...pearl, and not
silver.  Similarlhy, were there no superimposition of ignorance on Brahman,
the knowledge of unity regarding Brahman would not be enjoined in such terms
as the following:  'All this is Existence, All this is Brahman.  All this is
Self and This duality has no existence apart from Brahman.' (All paraphrased
scriptural passages)

Objection:  We do not say that there is no superimposition on Brahman of
attributes not belonging to It, as in the case of a ...pearl, but that
Brahman is not the cause of the superimposition of these attributes on
Itself, nor the author of ignorance.

[This is a very serious point.  It is impossible for one to accept the
proposition that 'Brahman is ignorant of Its own Self'.  How can ignorance
be in Brahman?  In other words, How can Brahman be ignorant?  How indeed can
one propose that Brahman was ignorant and then gained knowledge and attained

Reply:  Let it be so.  Brahman is not the author of ignorance nor subject to
error.  But it is not admitted that there is any other conscious entity but
Brahman which is the author of ignorance or subject to error.  Witness such
Sruti texts as, 'There is no other knower but Him' (Br.Up.3.7.23).....Thou
art That', It knew only Itself as 'I am Brahman' (this very mantra now being
commented upon) .......

The dialogue continues in a very gripping way.

[Quoted from the translation of the Bhashya by Swami Madhavananda,  Advaita
Ashrama, p.102,103]

The idea of quoting this Bhashya is to show its importance in Vedanta.  We
are now seeing the Bhagavadgita 9th Chapter bhashya presented in this
instalment which is also on this same thought:  There is no other conscious
entity other than Brahman.

The one in ignorance, the seeker, the realized and the liberated one is none
other than Brahman.  Brahmaiva sva-avidyayaa samsarati iva , sva vidyayaa
muchyate iva {Brahman alone, owing to self-ignorance appears to be bound and
due to self-knowledge appears to be released. }  Actually there is neither
bondage nor release in the absolute standpoint.

Om Tat Sat

Hence, in this context, the question, "For what

> purpose is this creation?", and its answer are baseless -- in
> accordance with the Vedic text, "Who know (It) truly, who can fully
> speak about this here? From where has this come? From where is this
> variegated creation? (3.54.5, 10.129.6 (RV nAsadIya sUktaM))"##
> (To be continued.)
> Ramakrishna
> _______________________________________________

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