[Advaita-l] [advaitin] Re: Definition of sAkshI

Bhaskar YR bhaskar.yr at hitachienergy.com
Fri Feb 9 01:34:34 EST 2024

Although the nature of being the witness, in terms of being self-effulgent, is inherent in Pure Chaitanya, the term ‘witness’ is truly applicable only in the vyavaharika sense in the context of other objects.

Hare Krishna

I very often see the compartments like vyAvahArika and pAramArthika in Advaita discussions 😊   When I was having the chat with Sri Jay prabhuji ( a hardcore dualist) he used to say : “you advaitins smart enough to take shelter like this whenever there is contradictions in your siddhAnta.  You accept everything in the name of vyavahAra and when questioned, you people, by engaging in that vyavahAra itself declare that it is not paramArtha valid only in vyavahAra.  And I replied : Yes that is how it is,  even calling brahman as consciousness is within the realm of vyavahAra as per bhAshyakAra and in pAramArthika there is nothing as vishesha to talk about as paramArtha as it cannot be worded, workable, expressible or objectifiable.  When the very satyaM, jnAnam, brahman, Atman etc. are mere qualified titles and falling within the realm of vyavahAra is there any doubt about lable ‘sAkshi’ and its applicability to THAT in vyavahAra ??  So I don’t think there is no need to bring this vyavahAra and pAramArthika boxes in each and every discussion and put something in vyavahAra and keep something else in paramArtha.  Just see how bhAshyakAra clarifies this in chAndOgya shruti bhAshya :

pUrvapaxi : is not even Atman denoted by the word ‘Atman’ ?

siddhAnti : no, because there are shruti-s like na tatra chakshurgacchati na vAggacchati nO manaH, yatO vAchO nivartante aprApya manasA saha etc.

pUrvapaxi : if that is the case how do you explain shruti vAkya like : Atman alone is left, right, top bottom, Atman Atmanneva pashyati  etc. ??

siddhAnti : naisha dOshaH (no problem in these expressions) the word Atman basically used in the world of duality just to denote the jeeva (individual soul) which is distinct from its shareera ‘ the same’ name ‘Atman’ extended to express the entity which remains after the rejection of body and other anAtma vastu-s.  In short that tattva which is really inexpressible by any words and deeds.

( just quoting from memory don’t remember exact bhAshya words, but I am sure this is what expressed by bhAshyakAra in essence).

Like above in taittireeya bhAshya,  bhAshyakAra talking about tattva being called as consciousness (jnAnam) and clarifies that brahman cannot be explained by the label jnAnam either.  Nevertheless it is indicated though not literally expressed by this word.  By this word jnAnam which is semblance of consciousness just a modification of the mind.  It is not directly denoted by that term because THAT is devoid of any genus and other specific features.  And satyaM also explained in these lines only.  So ‘neti neti’ is the best possible way of explaining the inexplicable.  This has been already clarified by bhAshyakAra himself at somany places.

Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

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