[Advaita-l] Different prakriya-s in one place - Brahma sutra bhashyam 2.3.46

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Aug 24 00:21:47 EDT 2020

On Mon, Aug 24, 2020 at 7:28 AM Raghav Kumar Dwivedula via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Namaste Subbuji
> Thank you for sharing that 2.3.46 Brahma sutra. As you said, there are
> several prakriyas at one place.
> One question here...
> On Sun, 23 Aug, 2020, 7:08 PM V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l, <
> advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> > Different prakriya-s in one place - Brahma sutra bhashyam 2.3.46
> >
> > In the Brahmasutra bhashya 2.3.46, Shankara mentions four distinct
> > 'vaada-s' (prakriya-s) to drive home the point that the jiva is not
> really
> > a samsarin.  The four prakriya-s, analogies, are pointed out by Sri
> > Sringeri Kavi Narasimha Bhatta in his preface to his Kannada translation
> > (1999) of the 'Panchapadika' of Sri Padmapadacharya.
> >
> > The author calls the four prakriyas 1. upaadhi-vaada, 2. avaccheda vaada
> > and 3. pratibimba vaada. 4. Brahma bhaava vaada. The four are distinctly
> > shown in the following bhashya passage thus:
> >
> > 1. यथा प्रकाशः सौरश्चान्द्रमसो वा वियद्व्याप्य अवतिष्ठमानः
> > अङ्गुल्याद्युपाधिसम्बन्धात् तेषु ऋजुवक्रादिभावं प्रतिपद्यमानेषु
> > तत्तद्भावमिव प्रतिपद्यमानोऽपि न परमार्थतस्तद्भावं प्रतिपद्यते,
> > [Just as, when the light emitted by the sun or the moon pervades the
> entire
> > firmament, upon one interfering with his vision by poking a finger at the
> > eye, etc. the light appears to take on varied shapes even though no such
> > variation really takes place in the light...]
> >
> Here, given the words अङ्गुल्याद्युपाधिसम्बन्धात् तेषु ऋजुवक्रादिभावं , can
> we say that " the finger etc., are the upAdhis due to whose association,
> light (through all pervading) nevertheless seems to appear in various
> straight and bent shapes (due to reflection/scattering)."
>  In other words, even without introducing the idea of poking a finger at
> the eye to interfere with vision, it could be said that the all-pervading
> light (वियद्व्याप्य अवतिष्ठमानः प्रकाशः ) seems to manifest (upon being
> reflected off these upAdhis) as various shapes (of any object, the finger
> being just any object - because it can be of various shapes when moved or
> bent) etc. It appears that the Swami Gambhirananda translation keeps it
> like that.

Yes. Shankara gives the finger poking case to clearly drive home the point,
by direct experience, that light indeed takes the forms/shapes of the
various objects it illuminates. Since we tend to lose sight of that, taking
for granted that light illuminates everything, so what? and lose the
phenomenon of light 'taking the shapes of things', Shankara speaks of the
finger poking.  When we do this, we can directly realize that light takes
the forms that the poking enables.

Swami Paramarthananda ji, in a class, said: When I ask you what all the
light in this room illuminates, you are most likely to list everything
except your own hand which is on the table or which is pointing to the
various objects (while enumerating them).

Thanks for bringing up the point.

warm regards


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