[Advaita-l] A group of anatma vaadins

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sun Jan 21 01:40:22 EST 2018

A group of anatma vaadins

In the BGB 18.50 Shankara says:

देहचैतन्यवादिनश्च लोकायतिकाः ‘चैतन्यविशिष्टः कायः पुरुषः’ इत्याहुः । तथा
अन्ये इन्द्रियचैतन्यवादिनः, अन्ये मनश्चैतन्यवादिनः, अन्ये
बुद्धिचैतन्यवादिनः ।  ततोऽपि आन्तरम् अव्यक्तम् अव्याकृताख्यम् अविद्यावस्थम्
आत्मत्वेन प्रतिपन्नाः केचित् । सर्वत्र बुद्ध्यादिदेहान्ते आत्मचैतन्याभासता
आत्मभ्रान्तिकारणम् इत्यतश्च..

These lines of the Bhashya are stated crisply in the fifth verse of the Sri
Dakshinamurti Stotram:

देहं प्राणमपीन्द्रियाण्यपि चलां बुद्धिं च शून्यं विदुः
स्त्रीबालान्धजडोपमास्त्वहमिति भ्रान्ता भृशं वादिनः .
तस्मै श्री गुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्शिणामूर्तये .. ५..

Owing to the non-comprehension of the True Self, there is the wrong-perception

of the Self. This ignorance manifests itself as various people holding

the anatman as the Atman. The body, the prana, the sense/motor organs,

the fleeting intellect, the void - all these are held to be the

Atman. This is due to ignorance, maya. The True knowledge of the Self

characterized by Pure Consciousness is the dispeller of this avidya.

The Gita Bhashya above is rendered by Swami Gambhirananda thus:

//The Lokayatikas (materialists), who hold that the body is identical with
consciousness, say that a person is a body endowed with consciousness; so
also there are others who say that the organs are identical with
consciousness; there are others who say that the mind is identical with
consciousness, and still others who say that the intellect is identical
with consciousness. Some accept as the Self the Unmanifest [The inmost
Ruler (antaryamin), possessing a semblance of Consciousness.], called the
Undifferentiated, which is more internal than that (intellect) and is
within the domain of (primordial) ignorance. Indeed, in every case,
beginning from the intellect to the body, the cause of mis-conceived
Selfhood is the semblance of the Consciousness that is the Self. Hence,
knowledge about the Self is not a subject for injunction. What then? Only
the eradication of the superimposition of name, form, etc., which are not
the Self, is what has to be undertaken, but not the knowledge of the Self
that is Consciousness. For it is the Self which is experienced as possessed
of the forms of all the various objects that are superimposed (on It)
through ignorance. It is evidently because of this that the Buddhists who
uphold the view of (momentary) consciousness have concluded that there is
no substance at all apart from (momentary) consciousness, and that it is
not in need of any other valid proof since they hold that it is
self-cognized. Therefore, what is to be undertaken is only the elimination
of the superimposition on Brahman through ignorance, but no effort is
needed for knowing Brahman (Consciousness), for It is ite self-evident! //

Om Tat Sat

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