[Advaita-l] Seeking clarification on Bri. Up. Mantra 1-4-2

H S Chandramouli via Advaita-l advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Thu Apr 24 06:06:48 CDT 2014


Sri Jaladhar Vyasji wrote << The ultimate knowledge is of Brahman as
nirguna only. >>.  The statement as it stands appears to imply that Brahman
can be known in its Nirguna form. Even the statement  in the above post
that  <<  The knowledge of Brahman as saguna inevitably leads to the
knowledge of Brahman as nirguna. >>  implies the same. Do these statements
not suggest that Brahman is knowable as an object ?  Perhaps the ultimate
knowledge should be stated as << Realization that I am Brahman >> Ayamatma
brahma , jiva-brahma ekatva.

Just my 2-cents view.


On Thu, Apr 24, 2014 at 11:06 AM, Jaldhar H. Vyas via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Here is my take on this interesting question.
> On Thu, 17 Apr 2014, kuntimaddi sadananda wrote:
>  Bri. Up. Mantra 1-4-2. – it starts – sO2bibhEt, tasmat EkAkI bibhEti, sa
>> hAyamIkshAm chakrE, yat madanyannAsti, kasmAnnu bibhEmIti? tata EvAsya
>> bhayam vIyAya, ksamAt bibhEshyat? dvitIayAdvai bhayam bhavati|| - my typing
>> may be bad - one has to check the original.
>> He was afraid. Therefore people (still) are afraid to be alone. He
>> thought – If there is nothing else but me, what am I afraid of? >From that
>> (thinking) alone his fear was gone, for what was there to fear? It is from
>> a second entity that fear comes – from Swami Madhavanandaji.
>> In the commentary based on Shankara bhAsya, that virAj – understood after
>> thinking that he is one without a second – because fear comes from the
>> second entity, and that the notion of second entity was removed by the
>> knowledge of unity. Thus after thinking viraJ knew that there is no second
>> entity in creation.
>> But yet his knowledge is incomplete even though he has understood that
>> there is no second entity in the creation – since he is the born – in fact
>> the first born. If he was a jnaani before he should not have born.
>> An objection is therefore rightly raised. How did viraj gained the
>> knowledge of unity or who instructed him about that knowledge. If he has
>> that knowledge from prior samskaara then he was a jnaani and therefore
>> should not have taken another birth as first born? If he is still born with
>> that knowledge, then the knowledge is of no use since one can be born
>> again. Hence objector says – knowledge of unity serves no purpose since one
>> takes birth again in spite of that knowledge.
> Viraj was in his purvajanma the foremost of the upasakas -- those who
> meditate on Brahman as saguna.  Thus his jnana was also saguna and
> therefore he continued as an entity in the world of gunas.
>> The response to this objection – is somewhat confusing to me. Obviously
>> to take this birth as virAj, he has neutralized most of his sins in his
>> previous life as Shankara says – he excels in knowledge, intelligence and
>> in memory and this is a prefect birth – Hence he might well have the
>> knowledge of unity without instruction.
> Yes the problem is not that he doesn't have knowledge of unity but unity
> with what.  "Unity" can occur on many levels.  "Fear" also exists on many
> levels.  As you noted, the upanishad itself continues by describing the
> unity of man and wife  as an antidote to the existential fear of living
> alone in the world.
>> Further objection – if that is so he should not have fear.
> A child may fear there is a monster under his bed.  His parents may think
> it is silly but be consumed with fear concerning mortgage, job etc.  This
> in turn may not be scary to one who has renounced material things and so
> on.  The saguna jnani has conquered all fears in the world as he
> understands it but now his perspective has changed so a new fear arises
> which would previously not been considered.
>  The response to this is somewhat lengthy and does not directly addresses
>> the objection, as I see. It boils down to either to say he does not have
>> full knowledge that he is Brahman and therefore has only partial knowledge
>> or that he is one without a second but not that he is infiniteness or aham
>> brahmaasmi, even though he knows that he is one without a second. Hence he
>> is still born, since he did upaasana (Bri. Up. 1-3-28 on asatoma
>> satgamaya,.etc) with a desire to become Hiranya garbha in the next life.
> The ultimate knowledge is of Brahman as nirguna only.  Does that mean
> there is a hierarchy of jnanas?  Is saguna jnana then worthless.
> Shankaracharya addresses this when he talks about sight being different
> amongst cats, yogis, in moonlight, in sunlight etc.  The knowledge of
> Brahman as saguna inevitably leads to the knowledge of Brahman as nirguna.
>  It is just a different path.  And the proof is that even though Viraj set
> out to become Hiranyagarbha, he naturally came of his own accord without
> the need of another guru to that same nirguna realization.
> --
> Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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