[Advaita-l] vedAnta/upanishad mahAvAkya - a query

Bhaskar YR bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Thu Apr 5 03:45:03 CDT 2012

praNAms Sri Sriram prabhuji
Hare Krishna

I am sure, you might have studied *types of sentences* in English Grammer 
during your school days. 

>  Frankly, answer is no :-))  I am a pakka 'Kannada' medium Govt. school 
student.  English language is still a foreign and uncomfortable language 
for me to express my 'free' flowing ideas on any topic :-)) 
Similarly, Mahavakya is like Main Clause which stands independant of 
itself in the upaniSads that are pointers towards the identity of Jiva & 
Brahman.  Whereas, other shruti vAkyas which may seem like mahAvAkyAs are 
pointers to this mahAvAkyAs only.  They cannot be termed as mahAvAkyAs.  
There are only 4 mahAvAkyAs corresponding to
4 vEdAs. The upanishad vAkyAs corresponding to the veda where *tat tvam 
asi* is defined are only
pointers to tat tvam asi only which have to be understood with 
*bhAga-tyAga lakSaNa*.
Similarly, rest of the 3 mahAvAkyAs.  

>  Pardon me prabhuji, I am not able to understand this explanation. First 
of all, I am first time hearing from your goodself that there are two 
classifications in shruti vAkya-s i.e. primary & secondary.  Can we find 
any reference in traditional advaitic works for this type of explanation? 

>  Moreover, if you see one of the mahAvAkya-s, for example 'tattvamasi' 
that you quoted above, is not a stand alone vAkya, it is a part of bigger 
sentence and appears in that vAkya with a prefix 'AtmA' giving room for 
some other interpretation also like 'atatvamasi'.  And again, shankara 
bhagavatpAda, our paramAchArya also in his prasthAna traya bhAshya, not 
specifically counts and tells us that mahAvAkya-s are ONLY four.  And he 
clarifies that shAstra is NOT there to point out brahman as such and such 
a thing, it only removes all distinctions created by avidyA.  jnApakaM hi 
shAstra na tu kArakaM.  In this sense also we cannot say these four 
vAkya-s are pointers to brahma-jeeva ikya and others not or subordinate to 
this primary vAkya-s. But I heard that there is a talk by sureshwara in 
bruhad vArtika about upanishad mahAvAkya..(Sri Subbu prabhuji, any 
pointers), if not, then, IMO,  picking ONLY four vAkya-s from the 
principal dashOpanishats and labelling it as mahAn is purely an arbitrary 
choice of some later advaita AchArya-s. 

BTW, there are dhyAna slokAs, anga / kara nyAsAs for the mahAvAkyAs also 
but method
of japa prescribed is nidhidhyAsana.  These cannot be chanted like rAma 
nAma etc.

>  That is quite interesting.  Is there any formal initiation required for 
this??  Again, I am curious to know the source of this practice. 

Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list