[Advaita-l] Tattvabodha of Adi Sankaracharya - 22

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 21 19:29:37 EDT 2020

(Continued from previous post)
>From another angle, let us examine 'sat cit
AtmA'. Atman is sat-chit-svarUpaH. What is the
size of Atman? SthUla Sareeram is limited in
size and so is sUkshma Sareeram. kAraNa
Sareeram is behind these two and so is limited
too. Also, there are as many Sareeras as indi-
viduals. If caitanyam is different from the body,
what can be its size? If it is the property of the
Sareeram, then wherever there is body, there
should be Consciousness (Atman) and where
there is no body, there should be no Conscious-
ness. Also, Consciousness being distinct from
the Sareeram, it does not have the limitations
of the body, mind and intellect and is all per-
vading. Then, what about the Consciousness
within any Sareeram? The all-pervading Con-
sciousness is only manifest in that Sareeram.
According to the scriptures, Atma caitanyam is
limitless. Looking at it from two angles:
1) When Atman is sat, it is eternal and not
bound by time - kAlatraye.api tiShThatIti . For a similar
reason, the Atman is not bound by space also.
It is anantaH - limitless, all-pervading. Also it is
pUrNaH - Full. Sat cit AtmA is pUrNaH.
Then, let us analyze what are sorrow
and joy. Whenever one is unhappy, we ask
what is needed or what is lacking? I.e sorrow
is because of a limitation - money, health, love
etc. Or, we can say that sorrow is an indica-
tion or symptom of the disease called limita-
tion. Similarly, joy is an indication of fulfill-
ment or poorNatvam. In other words, unful-
fillment of a desire leads to sorrow and the
fulfillment leads to joy. That means, Ananda
is an expression of poorNatvam or anantatvam.
Therefore, Atman is sat-cit-ananta -> poorNa
-> Ananda, and is of the nature of
2) All-pervading principle: Atman is also known
by another name called brahman, both indi-
cating Consciousness. Why then two names?
When we refer to an individual body, we call
it by the word Atman, and when we refer to
the total body (of all individual bodies), we
call it by the term brahman - (brahmaNatvAt)
which means that which is the biggest, the
maximum etc.
In summary Atman is Sat-Cit-Ananda-
svarupa. Sat is the existence principle; cit is the
awareness or knowledge principle and Ananda
is the bliss poorNa (complete) principle. Sat is
what remains unchanged during all the three
periods of time past, present and future.
Atman is not one of the three bodies but is
present in every one of them as a fundamen-
tal element and does not ever change. Cit is
the principle of absolute knowledge or aware-
ness that is present as a witness in all three
states of existence. The awareness is again
present in all periods of time and of the na-
ture of sat. Ananda is the principle which
comes from poorNatvam or completeness.
Atman is poorNa or does not lack anything.
Since it does not lack anything, there is Ananda
or bliss. Also, it transcends the mind and in-
tellect (koSAtIta) and there are no emotions
or expressions of joy in the Ananda and so there
is the equanimity concept also in the Ananda
Thus, after the negation of all anAtmA
elements, the author asserts what the nature
of the Atman is and concludes the section of
jIvavicaAra or analysis of the individual.
(Continued in next post)

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