[Advaita-l] Does Brahman know?

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Fri Nov 26 12:11:09 CST 2010

On Fri, Nov 26, 2010 at 3:00 PM, Venkatesh Murthy <vmurthy36 at gmail.com>wrote:

> About Turiya they say Kevalam Asti Iti Vaktum Sakyam. We can say only
> It is. Knowing something is only at Vyavahara level because there
> should be knower and known thing. In Turiya Avastha there is only One
> thing There is no knower and no known thing also. There is nothing to
> know. Any comments?
> Regards
> -Venkatesh

Consciousness, Brahman, can and does exist without any object to be
illumined or conscious of.  Nor does It require a knower to validate Its
existence. The MaandUkya kArikA 3.36 and Bhagavatpada's bhashya give a fine,
crisp description of this nature of Brahman/Turiya:

In that kArikA the word crucial for understanding the above nature of
Brahman is:    सकृद्विभातम् (sakRd-vibhAtam).  The bhAShyam is:

सकृद्विभातं - सदैव विभातं सदा भारूपम् अग्रहण-अन्यथाग्रहण-*
आविर्भाव-तिरोभाव-वर्जितत्वात्* । .....*नित्यचैतन्यभारूपत्वा*च्च युक्तं
सकृद्विभातमिति ।

//..ever illumined, constant effulgence by nature,since It is devoid of
non-manifestastion that is consequent on non-perception, and devoid of
manifestation that is contingent on wrong perception.  ...since Brahman is
by nature the light  that is *eternal Consciousness*,it is but reasonable
that It should be constantly effulgent. //

The Brihadaranyaka mantra: na hi draShTuH dRShTeH viparilopo vidyate,
avinAshitvaat - is also of the above meaning.

It would be beneficial to read the bhashyam for the Mundaka mantra 2.1.10 (न
तत्र सूर्यो भाति..).

In the Taittiriya Bhashyam for the word 'jnAnam' occurring in 'satyam jnAnam
anantam Brahma', the word 'jnapti' is given as explanation.

Interestingly, this word  सकृद्विभातम् (sakRd-vibhAtam) is found in the
SrimadbhAgavatam 4.31.16 too.


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