[Advaita-l] Rope-snake example in Upanishads
shashwata.unimas at gmail.com
Thu Feb 16 05:27:02 EST 2017
Pranam Praveen Ji,
Excellent findings. Very much grateful for the references.
On Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 12:03 PM, Praveen R. Bhat via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> Further to the discussions about the Shruti examples used for the creation
> of the world, there was a question raised as to whether the rope-snake
> example is used by the Shruti.
> Here are the Upanishads in which the rope-snake example is used. Some of
> them are clearly in the context of the creation itself while others are in
> the context of mokShakAraka jnAna. Please note that all these Upanishads
> are considered authentic in the tradition since they occur in Muktika's
> list of 108 Upanishads. And since Shrutis have ekavAkyatA as per siddhAnta,
> no Upanishad can be placed above the other to disqualify the same.
> Most people seem to be unaware as to why Bhashyakara chose those 10
> Upanishads only for commenting upon and not others. This is clearly seen in
> Muktikopanishad which lists Mandukya as enough for jnAnotpatti, but if not
> so, then those 10 Upanishads listed, which are commented upon by
> Bhagavatpadacharya, are to be studied for mokSha. Even then, if jnAna is
> lacking, then the other Upanishads are introduced in groups till the number
> reaches 108. However, Upanishad Brahmendra Yogin, who is considered to
> follow Bhashyakara's interpretation, elaborating further, has commented on
> all 108 Upanishads. Those interested further may kindly refer the same.
> अज्ञानमिति च रज्जौ सर्पभ्रान्तिरिवाद्वितीये सर्वानुस्यूते सर्वमये ब्रह्मणि
> ज्ञानमज्ञानम् ॥ १४ ॥
> And [as to what is] अज्ञान is [answered as follows]: अज्ञान is the
> [delusory] knowledge, [that causes] superimposition of varieties of
> non-selves based on the manifold adjuncts, gods, animals, immovable
> (trees), women, men, varNas, stages of life, bondage and liberation, upon
> ब्रह्म, like that of snake in the rope.
> *Yogakundalinyupanishad Translated by K. Narayanasvami Aiyar*
> जायाभवविनिर्मुक्तिः कालरूपस्य विभ्रमः ।
> इति तं स्वस्वरूपा हि मती रज्जुभुजङ्गवत् ॥ ७९॥
> 1.79: Like the conception of the snake in a rope, so the idea of the
> release from life and Samsara is the delusion of time.
> *Tejobindupanishad Translated by K. Narayanasvami Aiyar*
> गगने नीलिमासत्ये जगत्सत्यं भविष्यति ।
> शुक्तिकारजतं सत्यं भूषणं चेज्जगद्भवेत् ॥ ७६ ॥
> रज्जुसर्पेण दष्टश्चेन्नरो भवतु संसृतिः ।
> जातरूपेण बाणेन ज्वालाग्नौ नाशिते जगत् ॥ ७७ ॥
> 4/6.76-77 (continues till 98): When the blueness of the sky really exists
> in it, then the universe really is. When the silver in mother-of pearl can
> be used in making an ornament, when a man is bitten by (the conception of)
> a snake in a rope, when the flaming fire is quenched by means of a golden
> arrow, ... then the world really is.
> यः सर्वज्ञः सर्वविद्यो यस्य ज्ञानमयं तपः ।
> तस्मादत्रान्नरूपेण जायते जगदावलिः ॥ ३३॥
> सत्यवद्भाति तत्सर्वं रज्जुसर्पवदास्थितम् ।
> तदेतदक्षरं सत्यं तद्विज्ञाय विमुच्यते ॥ ३४॥
> 33-35: From that all-knowing, omniscient Lord, whose being endowed with
> knowledge itself is the penance [=visualisation], the whole world is
> created in the form of food [that is consumed by all sense organs]. That
> entire [world] shines [=appears] as-if real, superimposed [on the Lord]
> just like a rope on a snake. That is this imperishable reality, knowing
> which, one is liberated.
> *Nirvanopanishad Translated by Prof. A. A. Ramanathan*
> अनित्यं जगद्यज्जनितं स्वप्नजगदभ्रगजादितुल्यम् ।
> तथा देहादिसंघातं मोहगुणजालकलितं तद्रज्जुसर्पवत्कल्पितम् ।
> 28. The phenomenal world is impermanent as it is produced [from Brahman
> which alone is real]; it is similar to a world seen in a dream and an
> [illusory] elephant in the sky; similarly, the cluster of things such as
> the body is perceived by a network of a multitude of delusions and it is
> fancied to exist as a serpent in a rope.
> *Nadabindupanishad Translated by K. Narayanasvami Aiyar*
> अज्ञानं चेति वेदान्तैस्तस्मिन्नष्टे क्व विश्वता ।
> यथा रज्जुं परित्यज्य सर्पं गृह्णाति वै भ्रमात् ॥ २६ ॥
> 26 (1/2) -27. As a person through illusion mistakes a rope for a serpent,
> so the fool not knowing the eternal truth sees the world [to be true]. When
> he knows it to be a piece of rope, the illusory idea of a serpent vanishes.
> *Katharudropanishad Translated by Prof. A. A. Ramanathan*
> ब्रह्मभूतात्मनस्तस्मादेतस्माच्च्ह्क्तिमिश्रितात् ।
> अपञ्चीकृत आकाशसंभूतो रज्जुसर्पवत् ॥ १३॥
> 13/17. From this Self which is one with Brahman and which is possessed of
> Maya power arose the unmanifest Akasa like a rope-serpent.
> *Atmabodhopanishad **Translated by Dr. A. G. Krishna Warrier*
> विवेकयुक्तिबुद्ध्याहं जानाम्यात्मानमद्वयम् । तथापि बन्धमोक्षादिव्यवहारः
> प्रतीयते ॥ ११॥
> निवृत्तोऽपि प्रपञ्चो मे सत्यवद्भाति सर्वदा । सर्पादौ रज्जुसत्तेव
> ब्रह्मसत्तैव केवलम् ॥ १२॥
> प्रपञ्चाधाररूपेण वर्ततेऽतो जगन्न हि । यथेक्षुरससंव्याप्ता शर्करा वर्तते तथा
> ॥ १३॥
> II-1-11-13. I know myself without a second, with discrimination. Even then
> bondage and liberation are experienced. The world has gone away that
> appears to be real like serpent upon rope; only Brahman exists as the basis
> of the world; therefore the world does not exist; like sugar pervaded by
> the taste of the sugarcane, I am pervaded by bliss. All the three worlds,
> from Brahma to the smallest worm are imagined in me.
> *Atmopanishad Translated by Dr. A. G. Krishna Warrier*
> अमुष्य ब्रह्मभूतत्त्वाद्ब्रह्मणः कुत उद्भवः ।
> मायाक्लृप्तौ बन्धमोक्षौ न स्तः स्वात्मनि वस्तुतः ॥ २६॥
> यथा रज्जौ निष्क्रियायां सर्पाभासविनिर्गमौ ।
> अवृतेः सदसत्त्वाभ्यां वक्तव्ये बन्धमोक्षणे ॥ २७॥
> नावृत्तिर्ब्रह्मणः क्वाचिदन्याभावादनावृतम् ।
> अस्तीति प्रत्ययो यश्च यश्च नास्तीति वस्तुनि ॥ २८॥
> II-26-27(a). Because that Yogin has become Brahman, how can Brahman be
> reborn? Bondage and liberation, set up by Maya, are not real in themselves
> in relation to the Self, just as the appearance and disappearance of the
> snake are not in relation to the stirless rope.
> रज्जुसर्पदर्शनेन कारणाद्भिन्नजगतः सत्यत्वभ्रमो निवृत्तः ॥ १.१६॥
> 1.10 The delusion of the reality of the world, as different from its cause,
> is negated, by [way of example of negation of] the vision of the snake in
> the rope [as different from its cause].
> *Annapurnopanishad Translated by Dr. A. G. Krishna Warrier*
> अधिष्ठाने परे तत्त्वे कल्पिता रज्जुसर्पवत् ।
> कल्पिताश्चर्यजालेषु नाभ्युदेति कुतूहलम् ॥४.१०॥
> 4.10. (The whole world) is superimposed on the supreme Reality, the Ground,
> as the snake is on the rope. No curiosity is aroused as regards these
> superimposed wonders.
> ॐ तत् सत्।
> --Praveen R. Bhat
> /* येनेदँ सर्वं विजानाति, तं केन विजानीयात्। Through what should one know
> That owing to which all this is known! [Br.Up. 4.5.15] */
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