[Advaita-l] A 5th Century AD view of Vedanta (Text)
narayana145 at yahoo.co.in
Thu Jan 3 22:17:57 EST 2019
Dear Sri Shrinivas Gadkari,
I thank you for your kind response.
I was very eager to know whether the Upanishads and Sri Shankara
have given any clues/pointers to know the Purusha within oneself
and if they have given the clues what were those teachings.
Once again I thank you.
With respectful namaskars,Sreenivasa Murthy
On Thursday, 3 January, 2019, 12:45:26 PM IST, Shrinivas Gadkari <sgadkari2001 at yahoo.com> wrote:
Namaste Shri Sreenivasa Murthy,
I am sure there are many more qualified people on this forum to provide
guidance on how this puruSa can be known. I am sure nothing said below
is new to anyone.
I personally endorse the krama mukti - step by step progress.
- The entire creation we experience is a lIlA of this puruSa, and hence NOT
to be rejected as "mere illusion". The Adi puruSa himself takes this lIlA of creation seriously.
- jnAna mArga is our (limited) exploration of this creation, and what laws/ rules
operate in it - this is the (limited) knowledge of creation we acquire.
- karma mArga is perfecting our actions to align with knowledge we acquire in jnAna mArga.
(The bhAva that by perfecting our karma, we am fulfilling the very purpose, for which the puruSa
created us is important component of karma mArga. In other words, our perfected karma is
our best possible offering to the puruSa.)
- The disciplining of mind-body-prANa needed in karma mArga is our yoga mArga.
- Understanding our relation to the puruSa, the bond of love between us and puruSa, and
gradual strengthening of this bond is our bhakti mArga.
Persevering in our sAdhanA, that appropriately combines jnAna, karma, yoga and bhakti will
gradually get us closer and closer to this puruSa.
Dear Sri Shrinivas Gadkari,
You have written thus :" By knowing this (Adi) puruSa alone,
one can conquer death/ destruction HERE (iha)"
This statement of yours touched me very deeply.
I request you and other knowledgeable members kindly
to show how this purusha can be known by one
in his own anuBava?
Then only will the statement be a fruitful one.
With respectful namaskars,
On Wednesday, 2 January, 2019, 5:36:01 PM IST, Shrinivas Gadkari via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
To add a little more to this puruSa-vAda:
Some versions of puruSa sUkta contain this very important mantra:
a. dhAtA purastAt yam udAjahara
b. shakra pravidvAn pradishas ca tasra
c. tam evam vidvAn amRtam iha bhavati
d. na anya panthA ayanAya vidyate
a. The puruSa whom brahma deva (dhAtA) described in ancient times
b. The puruSa whom indra realized/ knew to be present in all directions
c. By knowing this (Adi) puruSa alone, one can conquer death/ destruction HERE (iha)
d. To achieve this goal, THERE IS NO OTHER PATH.
New Year Greetings.
Many thanks for posting this simple summary of Vedanta.
This puruSa-vAda resonates very well with gItA and bhAgavatam.
It is unfortunate that people have chosen to eclipse this simple approach
to Vedanta with hair splitting arguments that can be better termed
"shaba bhrama" (confusion with words) rather than "shabda brahma".
This is the pUrvapakSha of the vedAntatattvanishchaya chapter of
madhyamaka hR^idaya kArika by Bhavya. The translation is that of Prof.
Olle Qvarnstrom in "Hindu Philosophy in Buddhist Perspective" (Lund, 1989)
with a few minor emendations by myself.
The translator has put words not directly in the Sanskrit text but needed
for a coherent English translation in  square brackets and where he had
used an English term or phrase to translate a Sanskrit one, the original
word in () parentheses.
1. The adherents of Vedanta state (prAhur): Outside [our own school] it is
extremely difficult (durlabha) to find one who [really] knows the Self
(Atman). How could those who dismiss [the notion of] a Self, maintaining
that all conditioned entities (saMskAra) are empty (shunya), [bereft of
intrinsic nature (svabhAvarahita) and momentary (kShanavinaShTa) possibly
obtain] liberation (mokSha)?
2. An intelligent man (matimat) conquers death (mR^ityu) when he [through
his divine eye (divyachakShus)] perceives the transcendent "Person"
(puruSha) which is on the other side of darkness (tamaH parastAt), radiant
like the sun (sUryavarchasa), [and which is] the Self (Atman) [and] the
great Lord (maheshvara).
3. When he perceives the gold-coloured one (rukmavarNa) [through the eye
of meditation (dhyAnachakshus)] , he will see that the Lord (Ishvara) is
the agent (kartR^i). Then, having abandoned demerit (pApa) and merit
(puNya), he will attain the [non-active, non-conceptual (nirvikalpa)]
supreme unity (samya) [with that gold-coloured puruSha). Question: If He
is beyond the three realms of the universe (traidhatuka), how could He be
the agent (kartR^i)? And if He is so distant, whose Lord is He? Answer: In
spite of his distant abode, He is all-pervading: ]
4. Whatever is past (bhUta), present (bhavat) and future (bhavishyat) is
all regarded as the puruSha. He is within (antar) and without (bahis),
distant (dUra) and nearby (antika), and He is the agent (karmakR^it).
[Question: If the puruSha is one (ekatva), why is He able to undertake a
variety of activities and yet remain unimpaired? This is shown by the
5. All entities (bhava) are born [out of the puruSha]' like threads
(aMshu) coming out of a spider (UrNanAbha) [which at the same time remains
unimpaired]. Wise men (vidvAMs), absorbed (pralIna) in Him [through the
practice of meditation (dhyAna), perceiving Him with the eye of
intelligence (praGYAnetra)], do not come to [be reborn into] another
existence (punarbhava). [Why does the Yogin not attain immortality
(amrtatva) if he has not perceived the Purusha?]
6. [The whole world (sarvaloka) which is] mortal (martya) [by nature]
cannot be immortal (amR^itatva), just as fire (vahni) [cannot] be cold
(shaitya). Therefore it is inconsistent that immortality [could be
obtained] if one has not awakened [to become absorbed] into the immortal
puruSha). [The following serves the purpose of eulogising His great
7. Since nothing more excellent (jyAyas) exists than [Him] or superior
(param) [to Him] or even subtler (aNlyas) than [Him], [He] alone upholds
this entire [empirical reality. The character of the one who is in union
with Him is:]
8. He is endowed with the power to attenuate himself (aNiman), the power
to extend himself (mahiman), the power to levitate himself (laghiman),
supremacy (IshitA) [over the elements, etc.], the power to control
(vashitA), the power to reach (prApti) , the irresistability of will
(prAkAmya) and the power to proceed at will (yatrakAmAvasAyitA). [Although
He is one (ekatva), He has the nature (AtmatA) which epitomizes the
manifoldness of the three- realm universe. Therefore:]
9 For the one who experiences [the puruSha)], all elements [of the
three-realm universe, as well as] the very Atman, exist in that
[puruSha], and [besides, one who experiences the Self realizes that] there
is equality (tulyatA) between the ignorant (bAla) and the learned
(paNDita), the outcast (chaNDAla) and the brahmana (vipra), etc. [If
someone were to raise the question: Regarding this puruSa who is said to
be omnipresent (sarvavyApin) and from whom, although He is alone, the
bodies of all kinds of living beings (gati) such as gods and men are said
to be born, how is it that He does not become a nature which is
non-eternal (anitya) and non- all-pervasive (asarvatraga), like all bodied
beings? The following is said as a rejoinder:]
10. When a pot (ghaTa) is produced or destroyed, the space (AkAsha) [in
it] does not have the same nature [of being produced or destroyed]. When
bodies, etc. (dehAdi), are born or die, they cannot be considered [to have
the same nature] as the Self.
11. If [the objection is raised that] the one (eka) [Atman] is many
(nAnAtva), like space in pots (ghaTAkASha), [we reply that space]
is one (ekatva), because it is not differentiated through the breaking
of pots [and] because it is considered the same (sAmya) for all [pots.
The Self therefore does not exist separately in all embodied beings. In
spite of the multiplicity of bodies, the Self is the same in all of
them] .28 [Now to prove the oneness of the Self by a different
12. Though the clay (mR^id) is the same, the pots, etc. (ghaTAdi) may be
different. In the same way there is difference between bodies, [but] the
Self is not differentiated.
13. [Objection: Since your Self is omnipresent, if one person is happy,
everybody else should also be happy. Answer:] Just as when space in a pot,
which is one, becomes covered by such [things] as dust and smoke
(rajodhUmAdi), it is certainly not the case (na hi) [that this takes
place] likewise for all [pots], so [when] the Self [of a person, being
one], possesses pleasure, etc. (sukhAdi), it is not the case [that the
Self of all other persons also comes to possess pleasure, etc.].
[Question: How does happiness and suffering arise at all in each of these
individual continua (saMtana)? The answer is:]
14. It is because one is unawakened (aprabodha) [to absorption into the
immortal puruSa] that one who does not know the Self collects karma and
experiences its result which is good or bad (shubhAshubha ), just as one
who dreams imagines himself to have [real] experiences. [Since the
"Person" (purusa) is the agent (kartR^i) and the enjoyer (bhoktR^i), it
may be objected that, inasmuch as He accumulates and enjoys evil deeds as
well as merits, He is himself an . evil-doer, etc., but we say:]
15. Although He resides in the body, He is not defiled when He enjoys
[objects], since He is not attached; just like a king (rAjA) who behaves
according to his pleasure (kAma), that [puruSa] remains innocent of evil
deeds. [Thus, to follow up the above line of argument:]
16. When a Yogin due to union (yoga) [by means of meditation
(dhyAnayogena)] understands that [the supreme Self or Brahman] is one
(eka) [due to its supremacy over the whole body], all-pervasive
(sarvagata) [since it pervades the entire world], eternal (nitya) [since
it is indestructable], and the immortal state (achyutam padam) [since it
is without beginning or end and a place of resort], then [he is] not [born
into] another existence. [The characteristic of that Self, which is
removed from all enjoyment of wholesome and unwholesome actions, is
extolled in the following:]
17. That [Self] is eternal [because it is capable of being objectified by
the Yogin at all times]. It is non-conceptual (avikalpa) [because it is
something different from senses and consciousness], and it is beyond the
realm of speech (vAchAm agochara) [because it is not within the reach of
the mind]. [Various words, like brahman, Atman, puruSa, Isvara,
sarvatraga, nitya, etc.] are, [however], applied to it by those whose
minds (buddhi) are led astray by difference (bheda). [The meaning of other
such terms is to be understood just like the meaning of the term Atman.]
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