Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Tattvabodha - 29

Hari Aum

Prostrations to Guru. Prostrations to All.

nanu saahamkaarasya kinchijnasya jeevasya nirahkaarasya sarvjnasya
Isvarasya tatvamasi ithi mahavaakyaath kathamabhedhabhudhih syaadhubhayoh

But the Jiva is endowed with ego and his knowledge is limited. (Whereas) Isvara is without ego and is omniscient. (Then) how can thre be indentity, as stated in the Mahavakya Tat Tvam Asi, between these two who are possessed of contradictory characteristics?

ithi cheth na. sthoola sookshma shareeraabhimaani tvampadha vaachyaarthah.
upaadhivinirmuktham samaadhidhashaasampannam shudhdham chaithanyam tvampadha lakshyaarthah.
evam sarvajnathvaadhivishishta isvarah thathpadha vaachyaarthah.
upaadhishoonyam shudhdhachaitanyam thathpadhamakshyaarthah.
evam cha jiva isvarayo chaitanyaroopena abhedhe bhaadhakaabgaavah.

If said, no. The literal meaning of the word "Thou" is the one who identifies himself with gross and subtle bodies (jiva).
The implied meaning of the word 'Thou' is Pure Consciousness which is free from all conditionings.
So also the literal meaning of the word 'That' is the Isvara having Omniscience etc as its quality. The implied meaning of the word 'That' is the Pure Consciousness free from all conditionings.
Thus there is no contradiction regarding the identity between Jiva and Isvara from the stand point of Consciousness.

Shankara explained about who is jiva and who is Isvara. Jiva is the reflected consciousness on the Intellect and identifies himself with the gross body. Jiva is atman alone but with the upadhi of Avidya. Avidya is never real, it is illusion only and hence the upadhi or limitation is also illusory only. The space inside the pot is never limited by the boundaries of the pot, but only seems to limit the space, thus the space inside the pot is in essence same as the universal space. In the same way the atman only seems to be limited by the upadhi of avidya. When avidya vanishes then there is no reflection and hence no jiva at all. Isvara has the upadhi of Maya. Jiva because of ignorance thinks himself to be different from Isvara, sees the world as real and thus gets bonded into the samsaara and hence travels from birth to birth. After explaining about Jiva and Isvara, an opponent (or a student to his Guru) raises a doubt. Jiva and Isvara are having contradicting qualities. Jiva is ever limited and endowed with ego, whereas Isvara is Omniscient and Omnipotent. But as per scriptures, Jiva and Isvara are one and the same. How is this possible?

To this question Shankara gives the answer. There are two kinds of sentence, one is the sentence which give the direct meaning and other is the sentence which gives the meaning indirectly. In the sentence "Rama goes" the meaning is very direct that "A person called Rama goes". In the sentence "The Red runs", we cannot take the direct meaning as color red cannot run. Therefore the color red has to be attributed to something else to make the sentence meaningful and thus we the sentence indirectly gives the meaning that "The Red Horse runs".

In the same way, the direct meaning of Tvam pada is the jiva endowed with body and mind. But Jiva is nothing but Consciousness with the limitation of Ignorance. If there is no ignorance there are no limitations and hence no jiva also. Thus the indirect meaning of Jiva is Consciousness or Atman only. In the same way, the direct meaning of Tat pada is Isvara with the qualities of Omnipotent, Omniscient etc. Again this quality of Isvara is conditioned by the Maya. When Maya is removed, these qualities will cease to exist and hence Isvara also in essence Atman alone which is the implied meaning of the Tat pada. Thus there is no contradiction at all as both Jiva and Isvara are in essence Atman only. Jiva and Isvara are different from the empirical level as the very characteristics of Jiva and Isvara are different but from the Ultimate Standpoint there are one and the same. The empirical level is not real as these exists only as long as there is avidya. When avidya vanishes by the knowledge that "I am Brahman" then all distinctions vanish and what will exist is Sat Chit Ananda Atman.

Prostrations to All.

Hari Aum


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