[Advaita-l] What is Krishna's 'tattva'?

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Mon Nov 20 08:50:11 EST 2017

Namaste Sri Sreenivasa Murthy,

Apologies, I had hit send previously without meaning to. This is the
correct email.

Indeed, the meaning of shruti such as साक्षी चेता केवलो निर्गुणश्च, नेति
नेति, सत्यं ज्ञानं अनन्तं ब्रह्म, शान्तं शिवम् अद्वैतं are all pointing to
the one non-dual, attribute-less consciousness.

That it is without any attributes whatsoever is repeated in several places
across the shruti, but most prominently in Br Up 3.8.8 and 3.8.9
न तदश्नाति किञ्चन न तदश्नाति कश्चन.

Shankaracharya in introducing 3.8.9 says अनेकविशेषणप्रतिषेधप्रयासात्
अस्तित्वं तावदक्षरस्योपगमितं श्रुत्या ; तथापि लोकबुद्धिमपेक्ष्य आशङ्क्यते
यतः, अतोऽस्तित्वाय अनुमानं प्रमाणमुपन्यस्यति — एतस्य वा अक्षरस्य । The
shruti, by negating the various attributes of the akshara, has established
its existence. However, by anticipating the common misconceptions about it,
the shruti provides other inferential explanations.

Later on, in the bhAShya to 3.8.12, Shankara in a beautiful passage remarks:
 न हि अशनायाद्यतीतत्वम् अशनायादिधर्मवदवस्थावत्त्वं च एकस्य युगपदुपपद्यते ;
तथा शक्तिमत्त्वं च । विकारावयवत्वे च दोषाः प्रदर्शिताश्चतुर्थे । तस्मात्
एता असत्याः सर्वाः कल्पनाः । कस्तर्हि भेद एषाम् ? उपाधिकृत इति ब्रूमः ; न
स्वत एषां भेदः अभेदो वा, सैन्धवघनवत् प्रज्ञानघनैकरसस्वाभाव्यात् ,
(बृ. उ. २ । ५ । १९) ‘अयमात्मा ब्रह्म’ (बृ. उ. २ । ५ । १९) इति च
श्रुतेः — ‘सबाह्याभ्यन्तरो
ह्यजः’ (मु. उ. २ । १ । २) इति च आथर्वणे । *तस्मात् निरुपाधिकस्य आत्मनो
निरूपाख्यत्वात् निर्विशेषत्वात् एकत्वाच्च ‘नेति नेति’ (बृ. उ. २ । ३ ।
६) इति व्यपदेशो भवति *; अविद्याकामकर्मविशिष्टकार्यकरणोपाधिरात्मा संसारी जीव
उच्यते ; नित्यनिरतिशयज्ञानशक्त्युपाधिरात्मा अन्तर्यामी ईश्वर उच्यते ; *स एव
निरुपाधिः केवलः शुद्धः स्वेन स्वभावेन अक्षरं पर उच्यते *। The same entity
cannot be beyond hunger etc, and be subject to hunger etc. The same applies
for ths same entity being endowed with all the powers. The defects in
attributing modifications and parts to the same entity have been pointed in
the fourth chapter. Therefore all these are defective imaginations. What is
the cause of the difference among these various views? It is due to the
limiting adjuncts, upAdhis. Intrinsically there is neither difference nor
identity among these views, for all of them are homogenously one
consciousnesss, like a lump of salt. For example shrutis such as "without
prior or posterior, without interior or exterior", "this self is Brahman",
"that which is inside and out, the unborn". *Therefore, the unlimited Self,
being beyond speech and mind, undifferentiated and one is described as "not
this, not this".* It is the same entity that with the limiting adjuncts of
mind and body is endowed (as it were) by ignorance, desire and karma,
called the transmigrating jIva. It is the same entity conditioned by the
adjunct of the power of eternal, unlimited knowledge is the antaryAmi, the
internal ruler, called Ishvara. It is the same entity that without
attributes, and which is pure and absolute by its own nature, is called the
Supreme, Immutable, akshara.

Therefore, taking Brahman to be anything other than oneself, any concept
verbalised or thought of as this, anything belonging to oneself, is a
fanciful imagination. Therefore even the idea of "my tattva" belongs to the
variegated concepts that Shankara dismisses in the BrihadAraNyaka bhAShya.

Kind regards,

2017-11-20 13:35 GMT+00:00 Venkatraghavan S <agnimile at gmail.com>:

> On Mon, Nov 20, 2017 at 11:45 AM, sreenivasa murthy <
> narayana145 at yahoo.co.in> wrote:
>> Dear Sri Venkataraghavan,
>> You write :"There is no such thing as your tattva, as that would imply
>> two things - you and your tattva.  What is the basis for that statement
>> "you are the tattva - the all pervading, non dual consciousness. "  Will
>> you kindly establish that as a  verifiable fact ? Has it been done in
>> Upanishads? Your statement needs the support of Sruti, yukti and anuBava.
>> In the absence of these Viz.,Sruti, yukti and anuBava- it will only be a
>> mere statement and it becomes very difficult to accept your statement as
>> the truth. Please reveal.
>> Thanking you,
>> With respectful namaskars,
>> Sreenivasa Murthy

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