[Advaita-l] Anadimatparambrahma

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Tue Jun 29 18:01:34 CDT 2010

> We can parse anAdimatparam brahma and what the bhAshya actually says about
> it
> once your assumptions are clearer to the rest of us.
> The bhashya is very clear and the argument is quite sound. In essence,
> Sankaracharya says that the objective of the verse is to negate all
> attributes of Brahman including existence and non-existence. Hence, mat is
> considered to be said by Lord Krishna for having enough syllables for
> versification. My question is if versification is the only objective, then

Therein lies the crux of the matter. This also ties in directly with my
recent insistence on other threads on this list that we should read the
SAnkara bhAshya-s very carefully.


If you do that, you will notice that his primary and preferred explanation
does not say anything about the requirement of poetic meter at all. It is
a very straightforward explanation of anAdimat as the antonym of Adimat.
Now, Adimat is that which has a beginning (Adi). The bhAshya says, "Adir
asya asti iti Adimat, na Adimat anAdimat." The word Adi-mat is just like
the words SrI-mat, bhakti-mat etc. Similar words are obtained in Sanskrit
by adding a suffix -vat to other nouns, e.g. jnAna-vat, vid-vat etc.

In this context, note the very next verse in the gItA where suffix -mat is
added to the word Sruti, as in sarvataS-Srutimal-loke. Here, Srutimat +
loke = Srutimal-loke. The bhAshya explanation here goes in identical vein
- "SrutiS SravaNendriyam, tat yasya tat Srutimat." 


Going back to anAdimatparam brahma, after giving his own explanation of
anAdimat, the bhAshyakAra then goes on to say that others split the term
as anAdi + mat-param + brahma (atra kecit ... padaM chindanti) and then
goes on to show that while such an explanation may be allowed inasmuch
as it yields meaning, it will require a consideration of the -mat as being
merely for the sake of finishing the metric requirements of the verse. This
is because there has to be a consistent reason within this verse for why 
brahman is said to be neither existent nor non-existent (na sat tan nAsad
ucyate). The rest of the bhAshya goes on to expand on the subject in
great detail. As this goes to the core of the logic behind the philosophical
system of vedAnta, I can only suggest that you re-read the bhAshya and
its translations very, very carefully and get a full picture of what Sankara
bhagavatpAda says about any issue, instead of doing a piece-meal job.


> the Lord could have said anaditatparambrahma. There must be a reason the
> Lord uses mat instead of tat. What is the reason if it is not to say

The Lord could have used any one of a number of monosyllables here. That
the verse uses the suffix -mat is explained in the most consistent manner
only by Sankara bhagavatpAda. His explanation of na Adimat = anAdimat is
the truest to the sense of the gItA. Any attempt to say, "anAdi applies to
the jIva and shows that the jIva is eternal" has to show why the jIva is to
be known (jneyaM) and why such knowledge leads to immortality (amRtatva),
as said in the first half of the same verse.


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