[Advaita-l] A few observations in the KaTha Bhashya - A mananam exercise
v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Apr 21 12:57:04 CDT 2012
In the Kathopanishad Bhashya for the mantra 1.3.11 'mahataH param
avyaktam....' Shankara writes:
'avyaktam sarvasya jagato bIjabhUtam avyAkRtanaamarUpasatattvaM
paramAtmani otaprotabhAvena samAshritam vaTakaNikAyAmiva vaTavRkSha-shaktiH.
Shankara calls this avyakta a 'shaktiH'. In the BGB 13th chapter last
verse Shankara says: bhUtAnAm prakRtiH avidyAlakShaNA avyaktAkhyA... From
this it is clear that Shankara holds the avyakta to be a shaktiH which is
In BG 13.19 prakRti is said to be anAdi. From the above we conclude that
this prakRti, avidyA, is anAdi. avyaktam is anAdi.
In the BSB 1.4.3 Shankara says: .'avidyA hi avyaktam.'
In the Katha bhashya for the mantra 1.3.12 'eSha sarveShu bhUteShu....'
Shankara says: 'gUDhaH saMvRtaH
Shankara says that which envelops the jiva-s is this avidyA which is none
other than mAyA. And goes on to exclaim: aho atigambhIrA .....vichitrA
mAyA ...nUnaM parasyaiva mAyayA momuhyamAnaH sarvo lokaH bambhramIti...
'yogamAyAsamaavRtaH' Gita 7.25//
Here we see that according to Shankara this deluding mAyA is none other
than avidyA. And He calls it to be 'parasya mAyA'. By quoting the Gita
verse Shankara implies: The Cosmic mAyA when enveloping the beings gets
them engage in hearing, seeing, etc. which is avidyA. So, mAyA is avidyA.
In the Katha bhashya for the mantra 1.3.14 'uttiShThata jAgrata...'
Shankara writes: anAdyavidyAprasuptA uttiShThata... One is reminded of the
Mandukya kArikA 1.16: anAdimAyayA suptaH...
Here Shankara says the avidyA is anAdi.
- avyakta is a shaktiH
- it is in parmAtman
- this avyakta is also avidya
- Brahman itself is in all beings as the enveloped one by avidyA
- This avidyA is none other than mAyA
- this mAyA is of the ParamAtmA (GitA ref.)
- mAyA is anAdi (kArikA)
- avidyA is anAdi (kaTha bhashya)
- avyaktam is avidyA (BSB)
- avidyA is a shaktiH
- There is no real difference between Avidya and mAyA
Just one more observation that is worth mentioning is: In the Kathopanishad
1.3.13 the mantra reads: tadyacChet shAnta Atmani. Here the Atman is said
to be 'shAnta'. In the Mandukyopanishad seventh mantra we have: shAntam shivam
advaitam sa AtmA sa vijneyaH.
The above is written in the form of a mananam.
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