[Advaita-l] An instance of Advaita wrongly comprehended

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed Apr 18 05:06:38 CDT 2012

On Tue, Apr 17, 2012 at 7:14 PM, <rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:

> daharadhikaranam, BG 8, 15 etc. he explains nirupadhika ishwara clearly.
> There is no room for your position that He is not atma, no satyasankalpa
> etc. in Sankara's works. Nirupadhika Brahman / Ishwara is a  homogenous
> totality or purnam and hence negation of absolute reality of all
> particulars. Period.

The DaharAdhikaraNam 1.3.14 - 21 consists of eight sutras.  There, among
the shruti vAkyams is this from the Chandogya up. 8.1.5:

'अपहतपाप्मा *विजरो*  विमृत्युर्विशोको विजिघत्सोऽपिपासः सत्यकामः

Here the teaching is to identify the jiva, Self, with the true Self, the
Atman. This Atman, the ParamAtman, is called Parameshwara in the sutra
Bhashya.  Now, the question is: all the 'epithets' of the Atman up to the
words 'satyakAma' and 'satyasankalpa' are quite 'svarUpa lakShaNam' and we
have no problem in understanding these as the true self of the jiva.  But
these two words stand out as they cannot be included in the svarUpa of the
jiva for realization for liberation.  In the adhikaraNam we have no direct
clue as to how to reconcile this situation since these two epithets
and 'satyasankalpa' pertain to the saguNa brahman and not to the
nirupAdhika brahman with which alone an identity is possible for the jiva
for liberation.

In the BSB 1.3.19, however, we find Shankara saying:

// यदा तु देहेन्द्रियमनोबुद्धिसंघाताद्व्युत्थाप्य श्रुत्या प्रतिबोध्यते, नासि
त्वं देहेन्द्रियमनोबुद्धिसंघातः, नासि संसारी, किं तर्हि ? तद्यत्सत्यं स
आत्मा चैतन्यमात्रस्वरूपस्तत्त्वमसीति, तदा कूटस्थनित्यदृक्स्वरूपमात्मानं
प्रतिबुद्ध्यास्माच्छरीराद्यभिमानात्समुत्तिष्ठन्स एव कूटस्थनित्यदृक्स्वरूप
आत्मा भवति ।

The meaning of this is:  // When the jiva is 'woken up' from the
identification with the body-mind complex and instructed by the Shruti:
'You are not this body-mind complex, not a samsAriI. What indeed are you?
That which is Satyam, the Atman, which is none other than pure
consciousness in its true nature, that are you', then, upon realizing
oneself as the immutable ever-seer-consciousness he gives up his
identification with the body-mind complex and remains as the  immutable
ever-seer-consciousness. //

From this we understand that the 'satyakAma-satyasankalpa' epithets found
in the Chandogya shruti become redundant while striking the identity of the
jiva with Parameshwara/ParamAtman.  Still, do we have the authority to
simply 'do away' with those two epithets?  Shankara does not let us down.
He assumes we have already studied His Chandogya Bhashya for that shruti
passage 8.1.5:

संकल्पाः कामाश्च शुद्धसत्त्वोपाधिनिमित्ता ईश्वरस्य चित्रगुवत् ।

न स्वतो नेति नेतीत्युक्तत्वात् ।

This means: satyasankalpa and satyakAma accrue to Ishwara owing to the
shuddhasattvOpAdhi. Just like a man owning a wide variety of cows is called
'chitragu', which name accrues to him ONLY because of his association with
these special cows and not because of his nature of being a variety of
cows, Ishwara comes to be called 'satyakAma, satyasankalpa' owing to the
upAdhi generated by MAyA.  They DO NOT inhere in Him, since the shruti
'neti neti' negates these epithets/attributes from Brahman.

The commentators Anandagiri and Abhinavnarayanendra have stressed the
importance of the above Shankara-sentence by pointing out: The
satyasankalpatva and satyakAmatva unnatural to Ishwara are owing to the
shuddha sattva upAdhi which is a part of mAyA.  If anyone doubts if these
satyasankalpa....contradict the NirguNa-etc.teaching of the shruti,
Shankara clarifies that since these are 'aupAdhika' (accruing owing to
mAyOpaadhi) there is no fear of their contradicting the NirguNa
brahman-teaching shruti-s.

Thus, from Shankara's commentary, we conclude that none of the
epithets/attributes such as sarvajnatva, sarvashaktitva,
sarva/satya-kAmatva/sankalpatva, jagatkARaNatva, spoken of by the shruti as
those of Ishwara become valid when the nirguNa/nirupAdhika/nirvishesha
Brahman is considered.  They stand as sOpAdhika, savishesha, saguNa
epithets that accrue to Brahman ONLY because the shruti posits them through
the upAdhi called mAyA.  This is the incontrovertible decision of the
Advaita sampradAya.   It is these attributes that accrue ONLY due to mAyA
to Brahman that have been meant as 'anAtmA, abrahma' by the Kenopanishad
and the bhAshya. For, the purport of the Shruti is in the NirguNa Brahman
which alone is the true nature of the jiva.

Instead of bringing up this or that adhikaraNam, it would be most useful to
keep the above ruling etched in one's mind while studying the prasthAna
traya or any other Advaitic works.  Then, any seeming contradictions will
become automatically resolved by applying the above ruling.  This ruling
can never be challenged by anyone.  For such is the way Shankara
bhagavatpada has built the system.

This comment of Sri Rajaram //There is no room for your position that He is
not atma, no satyasankalpa etc. in Sankara's works.// stands directly
annulled by Shankara Himself.


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