[Advaita-l] Taittiriya Brahmana question
Siva Senani Nori
sivasenani at yahoo.com
Fri Jun 24 09:52:14 CDT 2011
Venkatesh Murthy vmurthy36 at gmail.com wrote:
Because Brahma is the material of all trees and forest . Like wood is
the material for every tree and and forest is only group of trees.
Brahma is material of trees and forest.
It is intriguing that there is a discussion of Brahman using the same analogy in Vedantasaara, a prakaraNa grantha of Advaita, written by Sadananda Yati. I quote and freely translate below from that book.
इदमज्ञानं समष्टिव्यष्ट्यभिप्रायेणैकमनेकमिति च व्यवह्रियते। तथाहि यथा वृक्षाणां समष्ट्यभिप्रायेण वनमित्येकत्वप्यपदेशो यथा वा जलानां समष्ट्यभिप्रायेण जलाशय इति तथा नानात्वेन प्रतिभासमानानां जीवगताज्ञानानां समष्ट्यभिप्रायेण तदेकत्वव्यपदेशः
According to the Vedantasara, ajñaana is one or many based on whether we treat it at the aggregate level or at the individual level, just like at the aggregate level trees are called forest or water is called a lake. Similarly the ajñaana which appears to be many when seen in jivas (jeeva.gata.ajñaanaanaam) is said to be one (ekatva.vyapadeSah) at the aggregate level.
Then the author proceeds to state that the aggregate (samashTi) ajñaana is viSuddha.sattva.pradhaanaa and that Caitanya associated (upa.hita) with this samashTi ajñaana is Isvara; and that when Caitanya when associated wiht the vyashTi is Praajña. These two are kaaraNaSarIras, anaandamayakoSas and also called 'sushupti'.
That Caitanya which is not associated (anupahita) with these two forms of ajñaana is called the tureeya.
वनवृक्षवदवच्छिन्नाकाशयोर्जलतद्गतप्रतिबिम्बाकाशयोर्वा आधारभूतानुपहिताकाशवत् अनयोः अज्ञानतदुपहितचैतन्ययोः आधारभूतं यदनुपहितं चैतन्यं तत् तुरीयमित्युच्यते “ शिवमद्वैतं चतुर्थं मन्यन्त ” इत्यादि श्रुतेः। इदमेव तुरीयं शुध्दचैतन्यमज्ञानादितदुपहितचैतन्याभ्यां तप्तायःपिण्डवदविवक्तं सन्महावाक्यस्य वाच्यं विविक्तं सल्लक्ष्यमिति चोच्यते ।। 9 ।।
Like the aakaaSa which is the base for the aakaaSa which is demarcated (avacchinnam) by the trees and forests; or that which is reflected in water and a lake, the unassociated Caitanya is called the Fourth, caturtham or tureeya, according to the Vedic statement "Sivam advaitam caturtham manyantah". This Fourth Suddhacaitanyam when differentiated from Caitanya associated with the two forms of ajñaana is the primary meaning of the mahaavaakaya (tat.tvam.asi) like the red-hot-iron-ingot (tapta.ayah.pinDa) and when undifferentiated (like when the fire is not differentiated from the iron ingot) is the secondary sense (lakshaNaa) of the mahaavaakya.
Later in the text, it is stated that srishTi happens due to the vikshepa Sakti (the power of projection, as in the projection of snake onto the rope) of ajñaana. The actual krama given is:
Caitanya+tamah.pradhAna.viskshepaSaktimat.ajñAna -> akASa -> vaayuh -> agnih -> ap (water) -> prithivee; then the three guNas are borne in these and from these are born sukshmaSarIras (lingaSarIras) and sthUlabhUtas. SukshmaSarIras have 17 aÑgas - five sense organs (jñaanendriyas - Srotra.tvak.cakshuh.jihva.ghraaNas), buddhi, manas, five karmendriyas (vaak.paaNi.paada.paayu.upasthaana), and the five vital airs (praaNapancakam - praaNa.apaana.vyaana.udaana.samaana). Here,
buddhi + jñaanendriyas = vijñaanamayakoSah, has jñaanaSakti
manas + jñaanendriyas = manomayakoSah, has icchaaSakti
praaNapancakam + karmendriyas = praaNamayakoSah, has kriyaaSakti.
Further, this sukshmaSareera (which is Caitanya+antahkaraNa) is the same at individual and aggregate level, like the akASa reflected by trees and forest.
At aggregate level Caitanya + antahkaraNa = Sootraatma, HiraNyagarbha, praaNa; is the vijñaanamaya, manomaya, and prANamaya koSas; also called svapna and sthoola.prapanca.laya.sthaanam. At the individual level, Caitanya + antahkaraNa = taijasa, also called svapna and stoola.Sareer.laya.sthaanam and is the vijñaanamaya, manomaya, and prANamaya koSas.
The five tanmaatras (tat-maatra, that-alone, that is not mixed with other elements) after mixing with other elements through a process called panceekaraNa give rise to the sthoola.bhootas -> 14 lokas -> four sthoola.Sareeras (viviparous like men and animals; oviparous like birds and snakes; germinating ones like grass and trees; and moisture-born like insects)
Caitanya + aggregate sthoola.Sareera = VaiSvaanara or ViraT; annamayakoSah; jaagrat
Caitanya + individual sth.Sar. = ViSva; jaagrat; annamayakoSah
Thus having demonstrated the order of Creation, srishTikramah, the author then re-asserts that Caitanya is only one
एतेषां स्थूलसूक्ष्मकारणप्रपञ्चानामपि समष्टिरेको महान्प्रपञ्चो भवति यथावान्तरवनानां समष्टिरेकं महद्वनं भवति। यथा वाऽवान्तरजलाशयानां समष्टिरेको महान् जलाशयः। एतदुपहितं वैश्वानरादीश्वरपर्यन्तं चैतन्यमप्यवान्तरवनावच्छिन्नाकाशवत् अवान्तरजलाशयगतप्रतिबिम्बाकाशवच्च एकमेव।
The aggregate of this gross-subtle-sublime-expanse constitues one mahaa.prapanca, just like the aggregate of many forests is a great-forest and the aggregate of many lakes is a great-lake. Then the Caitanya associated with ajñaana, ranging from the VaiSvaanara to ISvara is one only like the akaaSa demarcated by tree-forest-great.forest or that reflected in water-lake-great.lake.
N. Siva Senani
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