[Advaita-l] Brahman alone appears as jiva-jagat-Ishwara - some more references

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Apr 16 02:18:06 CDT 2011

On Fri, Apr 15, 2011 at 8:23 AM, Venkatesh Murthy <vmurthy36 at gmail.com>wrote:

> Namaste
> There are more Srutis like Yato Va Imani Bhutani Jayante given by
> Visishtadvaitis. They also accept Brahma is both Upadana and Nimitta
> of Jagat.  But the Dvaitis do not accept this. Brahma cannot be
> Upadana but he can be Nimitta only. In Brahma Sutra Sastra Yonitvat
> the Sastra is not the Upadana of Brahman though it is called Yoni. It
> means God is known through Sruti. Like this in this Mundaka Sruti
> Vakya 'Yada Pashya Pashyate Rukmavarnam Kartaram Isham  Purusham
> Brahmayonim'. Brahman is not the material cause Upadana. He is Nimitta
> Karana only.
> Any comments from Advaiti side?
> --
> Regards
> -Venkatesh


The question of upAdAna kAraNatva of Brahman is discussed in the sUtra
bhAShya by Shankaracharya.  One can refer to the प्रकृत्यधिकरणम् 1.4.23 to
27 sutras.  Here, in the first sutrabhashya the Acharya quotes the PANini
sutra ’जनिकर्तुः प्रकृतिः’ 1.4.30 as the one underlying the Taittiriya
shruti यतो वा इमानि ... This panchamI in 'yataH' is called अपादान पञ्चमी.
This pANinI sutra explains that this apAdAna is used to denote the upAdAna
kAraNam.  In the earlier sUtra an example 'वृक्षतः फलम् पतति’ (the fruit
falls from the tree) was considered. Here the tree is separate and the fruit
is separate where the fruit separates itself from the tree and the tree
remains as a separate entity.  But then there is the usage for the panchamI
in cases like मृदः घटः जायते (the pot originates from clay) where the pot
does not leave the clay away and originates. But one can say दण्डतः घटो
जायते (from the stick/staff used by the potter the pot is born).  Here too
the pot leaves the stick away and remains separate.  In order to explain the
usage of the  मृदः घटः जायते  the next sUtra comes: ’जनिकर्तुः प्रकृतिः’
1.4.30 where the 'begetter' is the upAdAna kAraNam, prakRti, of the object
that comes forth.  In the 'yato vA imAni ..' shruti it is this panchamI that
is used.  The sUtrakAra (PANinI) through the above sUtra 'differentiates'
this अपादान panchamI from the अपादानpanchamI of the earlier sUtra.  Shankara
says in the bhashya: ... ’जनिकर्तुः प्रकृतिः’ 1.4.30 इति विशेषस्मरणात्
प्रकृतिलक्षण (णे) एव अपादने पञ्चमी द्रष्टव्या ।  He says that the panchamI
in the shruti 'yato vA ..' is to be understood in the apAdAna sense alone in
accordance with the above vyAkaraNa sutra.

See also this:

'opayoge sati aakhyaataa
apaadaanasamj~nakam bhavati','upaadhyaayaat adhIte').

info('1.4.30','janikRRIyuH prakRRitiH','apaadaanam',
'janikRRIyuH prakRRitiH tat kaarakamapaadaanasamj~nakam bhavati',
'brahmaNaH prajaa prajaayante').

(I think there is a typographical error in the delineation of the
second mentioned
sutra above which aught to be 'janikaRtuH..' which is
what is found in the brahmasUtra bhashya of Shankara.)

One can read this brahmasutra bhashya: 1.4.23 and the remaining ones too in
this adhikaraNam for a clear grasp of the Advaitic position on
upAdAnakAraNatva of Brahman.  The very first sUtra has the word 'prakRtiH
cha' which Shankara takes to mean 'Brahman is ALSO the upAdaana kAraNam'
apart from Its being the nimitta kAraNam.

Another interesting feature of this adhikaraNam is that in the sutra no.26
the bhashya looks like an explanation to the BhAgavatam verse that we
considered in this discussion.  The bhashya is, in parts:

इतश्च प्रकृतिर्ब्रह्म, यत्कारणं ब्रह्मप्रक्रियायाम् ’तदात्मानं स्वयमकुरुत’
(तै.उप. २.७) इत्यात्मनः *कर्मत्वं कर्तृत्वं च दर्शयति* ।  *आत्मानमिति
कर्मत्वं, स्वयमकुरुत इति कर्तृत्वम् ।* For this reason too Brahman is the
upAdAnakAraNam which is demonstrated in the  section about Brahman (in
theTaittiriya Upanishad) for example: 'That Itself created Itself.'  where
the object-hood as well as the subject-hood of Atman is taught.  By the word
'Itself' in the dviteeyA vibhakti the upanishad teaches that Brahman is the
object, the material, of creation (just like the clay is the material for
the creation of the pot).  By the words 'Itself created' (svayam-akuruta)
the Up. teaches that Brahman is the creator, the subject, of the action of
creation. (I have added some explanatory words just to make the bhashyam
more comprehensible easily).

Regarding the word 'yoniH' while writing on the sutra 'योनिश्च हि गीयते’
(२७) Shankara considers another usage of the word 'yoni' too: स्थानवाचित्वम्
where the word is used to denote the position/abode.  However, based on the
other mantras of the Mundaka Up. like for example where the spider example
is taught, Shankara concludes that it is upAdAnakAraNa vAchI alone that is
known through the ' Kartaaram Isham  Purusham
Brahmayonim'.' if the Mundaka Up. 3.1.3.  To an objection that 'तदैक्षत  (It
deliberated) of the Taittiriya Up. it is only nimitta kAraNa like in the
case of a potter deliberating before making a pot, Shankara replies that

// the Upanishadic teaching of creation of the universe by Brahman need not
necessarily be akin to the potter of the world.  Since the creation of the
universe is known to us ONLY thru the Veda, the meaning available in the
vedic sentence alone is to be taken.  And this We have established is
upAdAnatvam (too) of Brahman. //

'तदैक्षत बहु स्यां पजायेय’ (It deliberated, let Me become many, let me be
born') of the Taittiriya Up. is considered by Shankara in another sutra in
this group: अभिध्योपदेशाच्च where the shruti  teaches the Independent nature
of Brahman (nimitta) while saying 'It deliberated'. And in 'Let Me become
many...'.  since the subject is Me, the Self, for becoming many, it is the
upAdAna kAraNam, the material, too, (with which) of the execution of the
deliberation to become many.

The adhikaraNam in to 12 too contains a lot of material on the above

To the NyAyAmRta objection on the Advaitic interpreatation on 'YoniH',
MadhusUdana Saraswati has held that 'we have no objection to their view of
the 'yataH' panchamI, which means only nimittatvam (based on a  vRtti of a
much later date to the pANini sutra).  For, we have the other shrutis of the
Taittiriya which teach clearly that 'It became Itself..' etc. which
undoubtedly teach the upAdAnatvam. '

I humbly owe the above understanding to the brief discussion I had with
Vidwan Dr.Mani Dravid SastrigaL.

I would like to add that the BhagavadgItA seventh chapter clearly shows that
Brahman is the upAdAnakAraNam.

The Lord teaches that He has two 'natures', 'prakRti-s' - aparA and parA.
The former consists of the eight-fold basic matter that transforms into the
inert observed world, jaDa prapancha also called 'kshetram'.  The latter is
the conscious observer, the 'jIvabhUtAm', called 'kshetrajna'.  So, the Lord
at once makes the dRk-dRshya categorisation here, as He also does in the
13th chapter opening verse.  What is important for us in this discussion is
the fact that the Lord says it is His aparA prakRti that transforms into the
world.  This is the upAdAna kAraNam for the world, coming from Brahman
Itself.  Brahman Itself transforms Itself (aparA prakRti) into the manifest
world.  And It Itself is the transformer too, being the sentient
Consciousness Principle.  The Lord says elsewhere 'मया अध्यक्षेण प्रकृतिः
सूयते सचराचरम्’ - with Me as the (higher prakRti) presiding observer, (My
lower) prakRtiH manifests as the world.  One can see the one-to-one
correspondence between the Bh.GItA 7th chapter verses on paraa-aparaa
prakRti and the UddhavagItaa verse we are discussing now where Brahman/Atman
is taught to be both the creator and the created.  As parA prakRti Brahman
is the Creator and as the aparA prakRti Brahman is the created.  Thus the
nimittopAdAna kAraNatva of Brahman is established even in the Bh.Gitaa
seventh chapter.


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