[Advaita-l] vishayananda & brahmananda

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sun Apr 3 13:04:06 CDT 2011

On Sun, Apr 3, 2011 at 8:07 AM, Shrinivas Gadkari <sgadkari2001 at yahoo.com>wrote:

> Namaste,
> The disturbing thing here is - why is it that the text here talks of the
> fourth state in a language that is normally used to describe the dream
> state? As mentioned in my previous post this becomes all the more important
> because of the direct connection of this part of the chAndogya with gItA
> 15.16-18. If this section of the chAndogya is not understood to one's
> satisfaction along with the connection to gItA, one should suspect that
> possibly the most important part of gItA remains unclear.
> Regards,
> Shrinivas

Namaste Shrinivas,

Here are some thoughts on the topic.

The Chandogya mantra in question, 8.12.3 is speaking about the Realized
person, who has realized his identity with the Turiya, but yet alive. Since
he is still a 'person' from the body-mind apparatus point of view, the
mantra does not talk about him the way the Mandukya Upanishad mantra 7 talks
about the Turiya, in the most impersonal terms. Since such a person's
'activity', life, is akin to a dream, there is nothing wrong in the mantra
depicting it to be so. He is an 'uttamapuruShaH' owing to the realization of
the Turiya which is Itself different and distinct from the jAgrat-pAda +
svapna pAda (together called the 'kShara') and the suShupti pAda (called the
akShara) in the terms of the Bh.Gita 15 chapter.

He experiences the prArabdha bhoga in the form of Indra, etc. (celestial
portfolios, the form which a Jnani can take owing to prArabdha). An example
is Yama in the Kathopanishat.  He is a Jnani, yet an important officer in
the cosmic governance.  He will be naturally endowed with all the 'perks'
that go with that position.  Apart from this, some jivanmuktas get
Brahmaloka presence too and they are said to experience anything they desire
by just samkalpa. For example, they can, by mere sankalpa, get to see their
past dead parents and other near and dear ones. Shri Anand Hudli ji has
given references too from the Sutra Bhashyam.  Since it is 'samkalpamAtra',
it is akin to a dream.  The mantra also says that they undergo these
'pleasant' experiences without remembering, keeping in focus, their  gross
body that was born owing to the parents' effort.  So, what we get in this
mantra is a variety of possible experiences for a jnani: in this world, with
this body itself, or in other worlds with sankalpa-kRta bhoga, etc. This
mantra can be applicable to be alluding to a jnani who does not undergo any
of those bhogas.  Shankaracharya says that 'since all bhogas everywhere are
not outside the domain of Brahman, it is not wrong to 'connect' all bhogas
to a Brahmavit, the sarvAtmabhAvasampanna, who is Brahman alone.'

In a way, it is Brahman that experiences everything that all the jivas
experience.  There is a prayer among smArta-s:

यत्कृतं यत्करिष्यामि तत्सर्वं न मया कृतम्, त्वया कृतं तु फलभुक् त्वमेव
मधुसूदन ।
[Whatever I have done and whatever I will do henceforth, all that is not
done by me; they are all done by You and therefore You are the one who are
the experiencer of their fruits, O MadhusUdana.]

We have these references too:
  इदं सर्वं यदयमात्मा (Idam sarvam yadayamaatmaa) (Brihadaranyaka. 6.5.7)
says that ‘All this is but the very Atman’.    The Kathopanishad 2.4.11 puts
the same idea in a different way: नेह नानास्ति किञ्चन (There is no diversity
here at all).

Another Up. Says: आत्मैवेदं सर्वम् All this is verily Atman. The Atharva
Veda 10.8.27 says: त्वं स्त्री त्वं पुमान् असि त्वं कुमार उत वा
कुमारी, त्वंजीर्णोऽसि…(You are the female, the male, the young man,
the young lady, you
are the old man walking with a stick….)  While the above quoted Shruti
passages taught that everything in the Universe in general is Brahman alone,
this passage teaches that even the people, the sentient beings, are none
other than Brahman alone.

The Rudra adhyAya of the Yajur veda is full of references to the effect that
the whole universe, the sentient and the insentient, is Ishvara.  The
description is so vivid that one cannot but wonder at the emphatic manner in
which the Veda declares that everything is but Ishvara, Brahman.  The
walker, sitter, runner, sleeper, the robber, the highway terrorist, the
forest, the trees, the sun, everything is Ishwara.

These references show that It is Brahman that experiences all that the jiva
experiences.  In other words, all the experiences of the jiva are only
Brahman's but without the identification that it is 'Its'.  However, even
this is only in the relative plane. For, in the absolute, pAramArthika
plane, since there is no jiva-jagat-Ishwara triad, there is no question of
Brahman having any experience whatsoever.  That is why in the Chandogya
mantra in question, in the vyAkhyAnam it is said:  पारमार्थतस्तु न केनापि
संबन्धमात्मनः इत्यभिप्रेत्याह - ये तु इति । In the absolute standpoint, the
Self has no  connection with anything whatsoever.  This is said by the
bhAshyam in the sentence: those however....

Thus, the Chandogya mantra in question touches upon the realized person, the
jivanmukta and the realized state - both in the living state and in the
absolute state.  It is with a view to bring out the absolute nature of the
jivanmukta that the 'uttama puruSha' term was used there and the connection
with the Bhagavadgita 15 chapter alluded by the Bhashyam.  In this manner,
one can see the Chandogya mantra and the gita verses and appreciate their
connection.  This, however can also be connected to the Mandukya scheme to
see how the Turiya is none other than the UttamapuruSha/Purshottama that
transcends the kShara/akshara (manifest and unmanifest). In the Gita the
Lord too talks about the Uttama puruSha from the absolute stand point.  He
distances His Absolute Self, Brahman, Turiya, from the akshara that is mAyA
upAdhi too.  Whatever experiences He has as the avatAra Lord, it is with
that upAdhi.  It is said that He had 16000 wives and yet is adored as
'nityabrahmachArin'.  The first is with the upAdhi and the second is as
nirupAdhika Brahman. The first is as Ishwara and the second is as Brahman.
The Gita 9th chapter verses 4 and 5 also can be seen in this light: the
former as Ishwara and the latter as Brahman.

Incidentally, these two sets of verses, of the 15th and the 9th chapter we
saw here, are two instances of the 'collapse of duality as taught in the
Bh.Gita' among several such verses there.  This topic was raised by
Dr.Praveen Kumar recently.



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