Chandogya Upanishad (Madhva commentary)

by Srisa Chandra Vasu | 1909 | 169,805 words | ISBN-13: 9789332869165

The English translation of the Chandogya Upanishad including the commentary of Madhva called the Bhasya. This text describes in seven sections the importance of speech, the importance of knowledge and the journey towards salvation.. It is one of the largest Upanishads and is associated with the Sama Veda. The Mundaka Upanishad is variously spelled...

Second Adhyaya, Fourteenth through Twenty-first Khandas (9 mantras)

Mantra 2.14.1.

1. Pradyumna in the rising sun, Vāsudeva in the risen auṅ, Nārāyaṇa in the midday sun, Aniruddha in the afternoon, and Saṇkarṣaṇa in the setting sun. This is the Bṛhat Sāman as refuged and controlled by the Lord, in the sun. He who knows the Bṛhat Sāman as interwoven in the sun becomes refulgent, and strong, he gets the Life Eternal, lives all-knowing, great in knowledge and learning great, in fame. His vow is “Never complain of the heat of the sun.”—130.

Mantra 2.15.1.

Let one realise the glory of the five-fold Harmonious Lord called Virūpasāman in the cloud.

1(a). Pradyumna in gathering of the mists, Vāsudeva in the cloud which has risen, Nārāyaṇa in the rains, Aniruddha in the flashes, and thunders and Saṅkarṣaṇa in the stopping or ceasing (of the clouds). This is the Vairūpa Sāman as refuged in the Lord dwelling in the clouds.—131.

1(b) He who knows the Vairūpa Sāman as refuged in the Lord dwelling in the cloud, gets cattle both handsome and ugly, becomes refulgent and strong, obtains the Life Eternal, he lives all-knowing, great in knowledge and learning, great in fame. His vow is “Never coinplain of the raining of the clouds.”—132.

Mantra 2.16.1.

Let one realise the glory of the five-fold Harmonious Lord called Vairāj Sāman in the seasons.

1. Pradyumna in the spring, Vāsudeva in the summer, Nārāyaṇa in the rains, Aniruddha in the autumn, and Saṅkarṣaṇa in the winter. He who knows this Vairāja Sāman as refuged in the Lord, who dwells in the seasons, shines with wisdom and learning, gets Life Eternal, lives all-knowing, becomes great in cattle and children, great in fame, and his vow is “Never complain of the seasons.”

Mantra 2.17.1.

Let one realise the glory of the Harmonious Lord called Śakvari Sāman in the worlds.

1. Pradyumna in the earth, Vāsudeva in the sky, Nārāyaṇa in the heaven, Aniruddha in the quarters, Saṅkarṣaṇa in the sea. These are the Śakvari Sāman, refuged in the Lord, dwelling in the worlds. He who knows these Śakvari Sāman as refuged in the Lord dwelling in the Iokas, gains the higher worlds, gets the Life Eternal, lives, all-knowing, great in wisdom and learning, great in fame; and his vow is “Never complain of the worlds.”—134.

Mantra 2.18.1.

Let one realise the glory of the five-fold Harmonious Lord called Revatī Sāman in animals.

1. Pradyumna in goats, Vāsudeva in sheep, Nārāyaṇa in cows, Aniruddha in horses, and Saṅkarṣaṇa, in men. These are the Revatī Sāman, as refuged in the Lord, dwelling in the various forms of animals. He who knows these Revatī Sāman as refuged in the Lord dwelling in the animal, gets the blessed protector, the Life Eternal, lives all-knowing, great in wisdom and learning, great in fame; and his vow is “Never complain of animals.”—135.

Mantra 2.19.1.

Let one realise the glory of the five-fold Harmonious Lord called Yajñāyajñīya in the members of the body.

1. Pradyumna in the hair, Vāsudeva in the skin, Nārāyaṇa in the flesh, Aniruddha in the bone, and Saṅkarṣaṇa in the marrow. This is the Yajñāyajñīya Sāman as refuged in the Lord, dwelling in the various members of the body. He who knows this Yajñāyajñīya as refuged in the Lord dwelling in the various members of the body, becomes possessed of strong limbs, he is not crippled in any limb, gets the Life Eternal, lives all-knowing, becomes great in wisdom and learning, great in fame. His vow is “Do not eat for a year while in a state of excitement;” or “do not eat any intoxicating thing at all.”—135.

Mantra 2.20.1.

Let one realise the glory of the five-fold Harmonious Lord called the Rājana Sāma in the Devatās.

Pradyumna in Agni (the fire), Vāsudeva in Vāyu (the air), Nārāyaṇa in Āditya (the sun), Aniruddha in Nakṣatra (the stars) and Saṅkarṣaṇa in Candramā (the moon). This is the Rājana Sāman as refuged in the Lord dwelling in the Devas. He, who knows this Rājana Sāman, refuged in the Lord dwelling in the devas, obtains the same world, the same company and the same body as of these very Devatās. He gets the Life Eternal, lives all-knowing, becomes great in wisdom and learning, great in fame. His vow is “Do not speak evil of the knowers of Brahman.”—136.

[Note.—Vāyuḥ—the Lord dwelling in the air and also called Vāyu, because He is knowledge (va) + life (āyu); or the life + wisdom.]

[Note.—Nakṣatrāṇi—stars, the Lord dwelling in the stars and called also Nakṣatra, independent. He who has (na) no governor (kṣattram) over him.]

[Note.—Candramāḥ—the moon, the Lord dwelling in the moon and called also Candramāḥ, the gladdener, Supreme bliss, from the root “candra”—‘to give joy’.]

[Note.—Salokatām—the state of being in the same loka or world as the Devatā, viz., to be in the same plane as the Devatā.]

Mantra 2.21.1.

Let one realise the glory of the five-fold Saman in the Harmonious called the Full (Sarvam [Sarva]).

1. Pradyumna in the three-fold knowledge, Vāsudeva in the three worlds, Nārāyaṇa in the three Devatās, viz., Agni, Vāyu and Aditya, Aniruddha in the three movers-in-space, viz., the stars. (Logoi) the Siddhas, and the Rays, (Ṛjus) and Saṅkarṣaṇa, in serpents, Gandharvas and Pitṛs. This is the Sāma refuged in the Full. He who knows thus this Saman as refuged in the Full, gets perfection (from the Full, according to his capacity).—137.

[Note.—Trayīvidyā—the Ṛg, the Yajus, and the Sāman, these three Vedas; the Lord dwelling in these three Vedas; the form of knowledge. Every one of the forms Pradyumna, etc., is triple.]

[Note.—“Nakṣatrāni vayāṃsi marīcayaḥ”—the stars, birds and the rays. The Lord dwelling in the stars (Nakṣatras) Siddhas (who can go easily according to their own desire from one planet to another) and the rays. These words also are the names of God. Nakṣatra means independent, Vayas means the mover in space and Marīci means light.]

Mantra 2.21.2.

2. Regarding it is the following verse. These five forms existing in triad of three and three are the highest. There is no other object higher than these. He who knows this, knows the true meaning of all the Śāstras. All persons living in all quarters bring tribute to him. His vow is “Let one meditate on the Lord as Sarvam Asmi, full of all perfections and called Asmi, the destroyer of ignorance and possessing all wisdom. Let him meditate thus.”—138.

Madhva’s commentary called the Bhāṣya:

[Khaṇḍas 14-21.]

These eight Khaṇḍas are taken together by the Commentator and he explains in it the eight Sāmanas, namely,

  1. He who realises or knows the Bṛhat in the sun,
  2. He who realises the Vairūpa [Vairūpa] in the rain,
  3. He who realises the Vairāja in the seasons,
  4. He who realises the Śakvari in the lokas,
  5. He who realises the Revatī in the animals,
  6. He who realises the Yajñāyajñīya [Yajñāyajñīyam] in the members of the body,
  7. He who realises this Rājana [Rājanam] or brilliant in the Devātas,
  8. He who realises this Sāman in the Full.

The Commentator explains these eight passages by Quoting an authority:—

When the Lord Janārdana is meditated as five-fold in the sun and called Āditya, and when meditated in the rain, and similarly meditated in the seasons, and in the worlds, and in cattle, and in the members of the body, and in the Devas and in all, under His various names of Āditya, Parjanya, Ṛtu, Loka, Paśu, Aṅga, Devatā, and Sarva (which, not only mean the sun, the rain, the seasons, the world, the cattle, the members, the devas, and all; but which also are the means of the Supreme Lord Himself; and he who knows the various Samans called Bṛhat, Vairūpa, etc., undoubtedly gets release or Salvation.

(In these eight Khaṇḍas, the words are almost the same, which have occurred in the previous Khaṇḍas; and they have there been explained already. The Commentator, however, now takes up two of those words and shows again, that they are the names of the Lord. These words are Samudra, and Diśa, which ordinarily mean ‘ocean’ and ‘direction or points of the compass.’ He shows that these words denote the Lord also).

The Lord is called Samudra because He is complete (samyak) increment or fulness (udreka). So, Samudra means ‘the completely evolved,’ the completely full,’ ‘the full increased,’ ‘the vast,’ ‘the infinite.’ The word Diśa means one who commands (deśana); it, therefore, means the Commander, the Guide, the Director, the Teacher.

(The Commentator now explains the words loma, tvac, maṃsa, asthi, majjā and aṅga. These words generally mean ‘hair of the body,’ ‘touch or skin,’ ‘flesh,’ ‘bone,’ ‘marrow,’ and ‘limbs,’ respectively. The Commentator shows that interpreted by the key of letters these words are the names of the Lord also).

He is called Loma, because He causes the vanishing (lopa) or destruction, He is called Tvac, because He has the form of light (tava).

He is called Māṃsa because he is exhilarating (madana) and because he is the essence (sāra) of all; therefore Maṃsa means the exhilarating essence; He is called Asthi because He is firm (sthira [sthiram]) seated (āsana), or He is the firm-postured; He is called Majjā because He produces (janana) intense excitement or ecstasy (mada); He is called Aṅga because he exists (gata) as nearest of all (antika).

(The Commentator now explains the words Vāyu, Nakṣatra, Candramā, and Traividya [Traividyā?] of Khaṇḍa 20 or 21).

He is called Vāyu because He is knowledge (va) and Giver of life (āyus), namely wisdom and life; He is called Nakṣatra because He is Independent (that which does not decay or gets wounded—Kṣatra—is called Nakṣatra or He who has no one like a Kṣatra or Protector above Him; therefore it means Self-protected, Self-ruling, and not ruled by another). He is called Candrama because he is the highest joy (Candra comes from the √cand “to gladden,” “to give joy.”) He is called Traividyā because His essential nature is wisdom and knowledge. The word Traividyā means He who is known by the three or through the three Vedas.

(The Commentator explains next the words Vayāṃsi and Marīci, Sarpa, Gandharva, Pitara, of Khaṇḍa 21. These words generally mean birds, rays, serpents, Gandharvas and father).

The word Vayāṃsi means He who moves in space, whose abode is space, because “vi” means space, and he that moves (ayana) in this “vi” is called Vayāṃsi. Thus the Lord is called Vayas or mover in space. He is called Marīci because His “ruc” or light or splendour is well-known (pramita, well-known, well-demonstrated). He is called Sarpa, because He is all-moving (sarpana ‘to move,’ motion); He is called Gandharva, because He supports the globes (gau=earth or knowledge), because He is the foundation of knowledge He is called Pitar, because He is the Father of all, and the cause of creation. He is called Sarva because He is Full of all excellent attributes, thus the Lord Puruṣottama is designated by all these names.

Sarvam ha bhavati explained. Unity versus Plurality.

Now the Commentator enters into a discussion. The occasion for this is given by the words “sarvam ha bhavati,” of Khaṇḍa 21. These words are generally taken to mean “he becomes everything;” i.e., the knower of Brahman becomes everything. The Commentator refutes this view by quoting an authority.

As it is said:—

“It does not mean that ‘he becomes everything’ or ‘gets the form of everything,’ but that he comes in sympathy with all; (there is no sarva-svarūptā, but sarva-bhāva). This is based on the law, that the progress to perfection of a being, depends upon the capacity of that being; the perfection of a being is conditioned by the position occupied by it in the scale of evolution and is given to it by the Lord who is Full and perfect.”

The attainment of the power of assuming all forms (sarva svarūptā; is not moreover the end of man (puruṣārtha) not the goal or the ideal for which he should strive.

No religion has held out that to be the aim of life. Ou the contrary sarva-bhāva or universal sympathy, is the ideal of all religions. The power of loving all, is fruit of all meditations and worship.

If assuming all forms were the fruit of worship, then one would assume the form of the denizens of hell also. Nor should these words “sarvam bhavati” be taken in a different sense (namely, the removal of the ignorance that one is limited). Because there is no proof (that the human soul is essentially capable of assuming all forms and that its not being able to assume all forms, is due to its ignorance).

“But there is authority for it” says an objector, “the words sarvam asmi iti upāsīta—‘let one meditate as I am everything’—clearly show that one is taught to meditate that he is everything, why should not then one become everything?” The Commentator shows that the words “sarvam asmi” do not denote “I am everything,” but something totally different.

As says a text:—“The Supreme Hari is called Asmi because He is all-knowledge and wisdom (mi=knowledge) and asana=all dispelling; i.e., all ignorance is expelled (asana=expelling, ejecting, destruction); or the All-wise Destroyer (of ignorance). Let one meditate on Him as Sarva, i.e., All-full, for sarvatā means fullness.”

Says an objector:—Why not take the word “asmi” as the First Person Singular of √as ‘to be,’ and meaning “I am,” and why explain it as a compound word? The Śruti teaches that one must meditate with the idea that the whole universe is false.. It does not imply that one must think that he is every thing, but the non-I is false. One must meditate that he is the consciousness pervading all, and all are in him.

To this the Commentator says:—

If the words “sarvam asmi,” be taken to mean “I am all,” in the sense that “every thing else is false,” then it would contradict the very next words of this verse of Khaṇḍa 21 “tebhyo na jyāyaḥ paramanyad asti,” “greater than these there is nothing else.” For then the words jyāyas ‘greater,’ and param ‘higher,’ would be redundant, for there is no one else than the “I” with which any comparison could be made. (For according to this theory, every thing other than the “I” is false and non-existent. In fact, then the Śruti, instead of saying “there is nothing else greater or higher than these” would have said “there is nothing else than these.”)

Thus this Śruti (Khaṇḍa 21) proves that there are other things also (truly and really, besides the Lord.)

The word tebhyaḥ, “than these,” should be explained as tataḥ “than Him,” for the triad there represents the Trinity or rather the unity in trinity.

The above verse further proves that there is no one thing or being higher than the Lord, or greater than He. This is the main fact established by this Śruti, (and not that every thing else is false.)

Says an objector:—In jour system also the word jyāyaḥ and param are tautologous, for higher and greater have the same meaning.

To this the Commentator says:—

The word Jyāyaḥ (Jyāyas) refers to Lakṣmī. She is the greater, while the Tarama Jyāyaḥ or higher than the Greater is the Lord alone.

(Thus this text shows that there is no one equal to the Lord even.)

Thus having refuted the theory that “every thing else than the I is false,” the Commentator now takes up the other theory that there is only one consciousness in the world, that the meditation taught by the Śruti is to be taken in the sense that “I” is the only consciousness underlying all consciousnesses.

If the phrase “sarvam asmi” meant that there was only one individual consciousness (Jīva) in this world, then it would contradict the next words of this very Śruti, which says “yas tad veda sa veda sarvam”—“lie who knows That knows every thing.” For the word tad “That,” would be redundant, for the consciousness being one only, there would be no “That?” to be known. For if the worshipper has the same consciousness as the worshipped, he would not be aware of any “That” there. (This shows that there is a Being separate from the worshipper. Had the worshipper and the Worshipped been one and identical, then the Śruti would have said):—

“He who knows his own self knows every thing,” but it says “he who knows That knows every thing.”

Says an objector:—There is no such contradiction as you apprehend. The text “sarvam asmi” does declare the unity of consciousness, and that there is only one Jīva in the world, and that the text “he who knows that knows every thing,” does not contradict the first. The latter text only repeats the well-known common sense view that there are different things and objects in the world, and its very mention of this difference, to believe which every unillumined intellect is naturally prone, shows that this commonsense view is not the transcendental truth. Identity is the highest truth, and it cannot be proved either by perception or by inference, as the difference is proved. The knowledge that “I am all” is proved only by the Revelation, hence the necessity for the Śruti to declare “sarvam asmi,” “I am all.” The text “he who knows That knows all,” is a weak one and must give way before the stronger texts declaring identity, such as “I am all.”

To this the Commentator replies:—

This text (“he who knows That knows every thing,”) is not an anuvāda merely, a statement of a well known fact, i.e., difference. Without the Revelation we could not have known the very existence of God and His attributes, much less the fact that He is different from the Jīva.

Without direct revelation the very nature of God and His existence cannot be established much less can it be proved that man and God are different and not identical.

So it cannot be said that difference between God and man is one known to commonsense by perception and inference.

If both are identical then arises the question has Brahman consciousness of Himself or not. But as it is an admitted fact that God knows Himself, so it is impossible for the Jīva, which is essentially God, to have ignorance, etc. So Jīva must always know himself. But if it be said that Jīva and Brahman though identical, have become separate owing to upādhi or limiting adjuncts, then this upādhi would affect both equally, because both are identical, and so Jīva and Brahman both become ignorant by force of the upādhi acting equally upon them. And it would follow that the evils of upādhi would affect them both, that is to say, both would be subject to sorrow, pleasure, pain, etc. Because both being identical are equally related to the upādhi; the effect upon them would be the same. If it be said that the effect of upādhi in one would be different from the effect of upādhi in the other, that the relation of upādhi in the case of one, is not the same relation with the upādhi in the case of the other, and so though in the case of Jīva it would become ignorant through upādhi, but not so the Īśvara, then it would follow that the difference of this and that, between Jīva and Īśvara, is not the result of upādhi but of something inherent in them both. Therefore, upādhi only manifests a difference, which existed from before in the thing itself (as the pot only manifests the difference of locality which always existed in space.)

‘But,’ says an objector, ‘plurality or difference is a matter of perception. The difference between man and God is perceived, and as it is perceived, it requires no Revelation to show that they are different. While it requires a revelation to show that they are identical. For our argument is this. The difference is apprehended by the perception of a thing and its opposite. If the Īśvara be the thing to be distinguished then the Jīva would be the opposite, and if the Jīva be the thing to be distinguished, then iśvara would be the opposite—therefore the perception of one would imply the perception of the other. So difference is a matter of perception. To this the reply is that difference is a matter of perception, when the things contrasted are both matters of perception. But God is not a matter of perception, but is known through revelation alone. So it is necessary for that very revelation to teach whether this God is separate from the Jīva or one with it. Therefore when “bheda Śrutis” are found in the Revelation you cannot say that they arc mere anuvādas.

Now the Jīva is proved, because everyone knows that he exists. The consciousness itself is the witness with regard to the existence of one’s own self. But this consciousness does not give any such direct evidence as to the existence of God, and His existence is not proved by any authority other than that of revelation. He cannot be proved by perception, because He is unlike any other object of perception. He cannot be proved by inference and reasoning, because there is always possibility of error in reasoning. Therefore, without revelation we cannot know anything about the existence or nature of God. In other words, the existence of God is not proved by any evidence of subjective nature. Consequently it follows, that a priori subjective evidence there is none, either in favour of or against the view of the man and God being separate or identical. Therefore, any text of the revelation, declaring difference between God and man, cannot be taken to bo a more anuvāda or the statement of a fact already known by some other proof, such as perception, reasoning, etc. Therefore, the Śrutis like “he who knows That, knows everything,” cannot bo said to be mere anuvāda, and so it follows that this very Śruti sets aside the “abheda Śrutis”, (the Śrutis that establish identity). Therefore the “abheda Śrutis” must be so interpreted as not to bo in conflict with the “bheda Śrutis”. Another reason against holding that the Jīva and Brahmaṇ are identical is this. If they are identical, and as Brahmaṇ always retains His consciousness and always is self-conscious it follows that Jīva must also always retain its consciousness, for both are one; and Nescience should never attack the Jīva. And the latter can and must know Brahmaṇ or rather itself, by its innate knowledge, without śravaṇa (study) manana (meditation), etc. And thus the Jīva would always know Brahmaṇ for Brahmaṇ is always Self-conscious. There is the other alternative, that Brahmaṇ may not be Self-conscious, though it may be all-consciousness. But this view is against Śruti, and would make creation impossible.

But says an opponent, let Brahmaṇ be self-conscious, but owing to upādhi, the Jīva is ignorant. To this the reply is, if the upādhi has made the Jīva ignorant, it would make the Brahmaṇ also ignorant, because both are identical. Not only this, it would make them both subject to pain, birth, death, etc. But it may be said that upādhi would produce its effect only on the Jīva and not on Brahmaṇ, for the upādhis related to the Jīva only and not to Brahmaṇ. Thus as the upādhi in the shape of a mirror is related only with the reflection of the face in it, and not with the face itself. The reflection alone gets distorted, dimmed, etc., owing to the defects in the upādhi called mirror and not so the face itself. But this is surrendering the advaita or pure Monism. For the reflection in the mirror and its original the face are not identical. If the Jīva is such a reflection of Brahmaṇ in matter, then the theory of identity goes. For here the difference existed from before, and was not caused by the upādhi, the rays proceeding from the face were different from the face, the picture existed separately in the rays, the mirror only manifested the picture. Another illustration of the upādhi causing difference where there was no difference before, is that of space and the pot. People think that the space inside the pot is different from the space outside. Thus, strictly speaking, the difference caused by upādhi affects a thing which is always identical with itself, as the upādhi called pot affects space. But even here also the upādhi called pot does not create the difference in space, the difference existed from before; one locality in space being always different from another. The pot only manifests the difference which existed from before. In support of this proposition that an upādhi never originates difference, but only manifests a pre-existing difference, the Commentator quotes a Nyāya texet.

Madhva’s commentary called the Bhāṣya:

Those which are different in themselves from before, such as different localities in space, but which the ignorant ordinarily do not realise, those alone are made manifest by upādhi, and brought within the scope of the perception of the ignorant. The upādhi never of itself creates any difference. It is never able to create a difference in objects which are (or rather is) identical. It is only manifester of a pre-existing bheda (difference) to the undiscriminating. (The upādhi never creates the many, the many exists from before. But is there manifoldness in space also? The Nyāya answers it in affirmative). The spaces are also many, and infinite (or rather innumerable) like the drops of water. This is so in the Brahma tarka.

Therefore it follows that the Jīva and Īśvara are not identical: man and God are different. As says the Parama Saṃhitā:—

“Let not any one worship the God of gods by thinking that he is identical with the God, for there cannot be the relation of the Worshipper and the Worshipped, when one treats the Worshipped as identical with himself.”

The following Śrutis also prove that the Jīva and Brahmaṇ are not identical:—

“The Lord cannot be well understood, when taught by a sectarian, for he describes Him as inferior to his own deity. The Lord, however, is full of all excellencies, and has been so conceived by the Vedas. Nor is the true knowledge of Him obtained when taught by an Ananya (Pantheist of an Idealist). The Lord is even smaller than the Jīva whose size is that of an atom. He is inconceivable” (Katha, II. 8).

“This belief which thou hast got, cannot be brought about nor destroyed by argument; when taught by the true Teacher who realises himself as separate from the Lord, the Self becomes easily realised. O dearest! strong is thy resolution. Inquirers like thee, O Naciketas! are not many” (Katha, II. 9).

“The Deva of eye cannot fully enter into the majesty of That Hari, nor the Deva of speech, nor of mind. We do not know nor understand how He may be governing all this. He is indeed more wonderful than all that can be known or all that can be imagined. He is the Best. Thus have we heard from the Teachers of old who taught Him to us.” (Kena I. 3).

“Different from the holy, different from the sinful, different from this insentient universe of cause and effect, other than the past, present, and future, is the Lord. Tell that to me exactly as thou knowest Him.” (Katha, II. 14).

“The Eternal among the eternals, the Consciousness among all consciousnesses, the One who bestows the fruits of Karmas to many Jivas, the tranquil-minded ones who see Him seated in their Ātma, get eternal happiness, but not the others” (Katha, V. 13).

“As pure water poured into pure water becomes like that, O Gautama, so the Ātma (Lord) of the wise sage, namely Brahmā himself, becomes like that Brahmaṇ, when he gets release; but never becomes identical with Brahman, much less any inferior being” (Katha IV. 15).

“Having sought shelter in this knowledge and reached likeness of Nature with me, they are not born at Aeon’s dawn nor at world’s ending are they distributed” (Gita, 14. 2).

“The knower of the supreme Brahman attains the supreme Brahman about it is the following Ṛk:—Brahman is True (the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer of the Universe), the Omniscient, and illimitable (not limited by time, space or causality): he who knows Him as placed in the cavity, in the highest ether, he enjoys with the Omniscient Brahman all objects of enjoyment under his control” (Taita, II.1).

This passage also shows that the enjoyment of the Muktas are under the control (saha = under) of the Lord.

As says a text:

“the Muktas or freed souls are all equal to Brahman, so far as the enjoyment of pleasures is concerned, but they are not His equal in the matter of sovereignty (creation, etc., of the worlds) and beatitude (infinite joy).”

(The Commentator now takes up the second verse of Khaṇḍa 21: “Regarding it is the following verse:—These five forms existing in triad of three and three or the highest. There is no other object higher than these.”

The five forms (Pradyumna, Vāsudeva, Nārāyaṇa. Aniruddha, and Saṅkarṣaṇa) become triads according to the places they occupy in the Rik, etc. But though they become separate and different, yet they are really identical with the Lord and with each other, through the great Majesty of the Lord, for thus it is written in Sāma Saṃhitā.

If an object which is visible (whose existence is proved by perception and valid means of knowledge) is to be set aside as unreal it can only be done so by reasoning, but not so is there any necessity of reasoning if one has to establish the reality of such an object; for its reality is a matter of direct perception and does not depend upon reasoning. Of an object given by direct perception, the reality is borne on the mind intuitively, and does not stand in need of arguments. But if there are arguments to prove its reality they are mere embellishments; similarly, if there are no arguments to prove its reality, that also is so much the better and there is no fault in the reality of the object. In fact, the absence of reasons to prove its falsehood and unreality is a grave defect.

In other words, reason cannot strengthen the conviction of the reality of things, given by intuition. If there are such reasons they are mere ornaments not of any utility. If there are no reasons, the absence itself is an ornament, because the reality stands in need of no reason to support its truth. But when in addition to this there are no reasons on the other side to prove the unreality of this reality then the absence of such reasons is a grave fault and strong support in favour of the reality of intuitive perception.

Moreover, there is no difference or distinction between the theory of void (Śunyavāda of the Buddhists), and this theory that the world is absolutely unreal and false.

[But, says an opponent, by Mithyā we do not mean absolutely false, but something mysterious, something which cannot be explained (anirvacanīya)].

To this the Commentator replies:—

There is no proof of the existence of such an (anirvacanīya), or an object which is both true and false, at the same time; which is real and unreal; which exists and does not exist; which is sat and asat at the same time. It, therefore, follows that the Bheda or the multiplicity of objects, is a reality and not false. This difference between objects, between God and man, between man and man, between them and the world, is a real and true difference and not a mere Mirage.

(Let it be granted that difference is a reality, that Bheda is Satya. But we say it is only a conventional reality (vyavahārika), and not an absolute reality, it is phenomenal reality and not noumenal reality. If this Bheda was only a phenomenal reality, then those who assert it must also assert that there most be some one to whom, at some time, this reality became an unreality, to whom it was known as false and phenomenal only.)

And, therefore, the Commentator says:—

But no one has the notion as direct knowledge that this Bheda never existed, does not exist or will not exist, and since no one ever had or has or will have such a knowledge of the unreality of things, it is wrong to say that the reality is a conventional one only. This is the difference between us and those who say that the reality of the world is conventional only. We ask them to produce a person, to whom it is conventional only; and since they cannot produce any such person, we do not admit that their theory as to the world being a conventional reality is true.

But if there be a person, who has this notion or conviction that the world is a conventional reality only, we ask yon what is the difference between this notion and the theory that the whole world is void and nothing (Śūnya).

There are, on the other hand, express Śrutis, declaring that the world is real.

As for example the following text of the Rig Veda, IV. 17-5:—

Satyam Enam Anuviśve Madanti.

“All rejoice (in Him) having attained Him as the true.”

(This shows that even in Mukti, there is difference.)

All Śrutis declare that the Bheda is real and not fictitious. Then there are other texts also; as for example, the following verses of the Māṇḍuka Upaniṣad (Verses 24 and 25):—

Note.—We give these two verses again here, in the original, with their word meaning as now given by the Commentator.

Māṇḍuka Upaniṣad, Verses 24:

prapañco yadi vidyeta nivarteta na saṃśayaḥ |
māyāmātramidaṃ dvaitamadvaitaṃ paramārthataḥ ||

Prapañcaḥ—difference, bheda. Yadi—if. Vidyeta—was produced, is created, comes into existence at a certain lime. Nivarteta—would cease to exist, will come to an end. Na—not. Saṃśayaḥ—doubtedly. Māyā—by the wisdom of the Lord. Mātram—cognised and delighted in, i.e., the Bheda; which the Lord by His wisdom takes delight in and recognises as such. Even to His consciousness there is Bheda. If there was no Bheda, how could the Lord have sported with Brahmā, etc. Idanm—this. Dvaitam—difference, duality. Advaitam—the Lord called the “One without a second,” the peerless. Paramārthataḥ—is the Highest Entity or End.

Note.—If the difference was brought into existence (and is not eternal in the nature of things) then it would certainly cease to exist at some time or other. The duality is, however, a reality, in which the Lord by his power and wisdom takes delight and cognises it as such. He alone is Differenceless, Simple Element (Advaita), He is the only Supreme object,

1. If the Plurality were a created object then undoubtedly it would come to an encl. The plurality is (however eternal) and recognised as such by the Lord and He takes delight in it.

Madhva’s commentary called the Bhāṣya:

The word Prapañca means Bheda or plurality (or difference.) The word vidyeta means bhaveta, utpadyeta, “if it were brought into existence,” “if it were produced.”

Then it would cease to exist also at some time or other (but as plurality does not cease, it follows that) the difference between the Jīva and the Lord, etc., is not created, but on the other hand it is eternal.

The word Māyā means the knowledge or the consciousness of the Lord. The word mātra means that which is cognised (matam) and delighted in (ratam) by the Lord. The whole word māyā-mātram thus means that the plurality is a thing cognised by and delighted in by the Divine consciousness. The Lord knows it and delights in it.

The words “advaitam paramārthataḥ” mean that the Lord alone in His Former Body is the real advaita (or Undifferentiated; homogeneous; free from plurality.) The word Paramārtha denotes the Lord. The Lord, through His Form, is alone Advaita—the Undifferentiated, homogeneous substance.

Therefore, what is called Advaita refers to this Lord, the Paramārtha. That is to say, there are even no inherent differences in the Lord (as it is in a tree, for example, that has leaves, branches, flowers, fruits, etc., different from each other, though forming one Unity. The body of the Lord is a homogeneous unity; unlike any other organised body.)

Māṇḍuka Upaniṣad, Verses 25:

vikalpo vinivarteta kalpito yadi kenacit |
upadeśādayaṃ vādo jñāte dvaitaṃ na vidyate ||

Vikalpaḥ—false notion, that the Lord is not Advaita but has differences in Him. Vinivarteta—would cease to exist. Kalpitaḥ—created, imagined. Yadi—if. Kenacit—by someone. Upadeśāt—by instruction. Ayam—this. Vādaḥ—saying. Jñāte—being known. Madhva reads it Ajñāte—in the Unknown. The Lord is called the Unknown, because the ignorant do not know Him. Dvaitam—the duality. Na—not. Vidyate—exists.

Note.—If however, any one has imagined that the form of the Lord is not a simple substance (but has differences in it), then that wrong notion of his will be removed by right instruction. This is the truth, [that when knowledge arises, the false notion (that Lord has differences in Him), ceases to exist, or] in the Unknown Lord there is no plurality: He is homogeneous.

2. The plurality would be sublated, had it been merely a (false) imagination of some one (due to his ignorance). The position established by (sacred) teaching is, with regard to the Unknown Lord there is no differentiation. He is homogeneous.

Note.—If plurality was due to mere imagination of us mortals, then like all other fancies, it would cease as soon as any one would declare the truth. Thus when a man falsely imagines a rope to bo a snake, that false notion ceases as soon as any one tells him, this is a rope and not a snake. But not so the notion of plurality. In spite of monistic-teachings, the notion of plurality still remains.

Madhva’s commentary called the Bhāṣya:

Nor is plurality due to mere imagination. If any one, through ignorance, had imagined this plurality, it would then also be sublated and so cease to exist, (but it is never so sublated, therefore, it is not an imagined thing).

Says an objector:—The Smṛtis teach that plurality does cease; and Monism is cognised. In fact, this very Śruti says when knowledge is attained (jñāta) the plurality ceases (to exist).

To this the Commentator says:—No one has ever experienced Monism; it is a theory based upon instruction only.

But the instruction itself is based upon the wrong interpretation of the Śruti text. The proper reading is “ajñāte dvaitam na vidyate,” “In the Unknown Lord there is no plurality.”

Therefore from the teaching (Upadeśāt) of the Śruti this is the theory which is established—“ajñāte dvaitam na vidyate”—since no one can know the Lord without His Grace, the Lord is called the Unknown. In that Unknown there is no plurality. He is a simple, undifferentiated, homogeneous substance.

(The Commentator now quotes an authority in support of his explanation:) says the Brahma Tarka:—“The difference (bheda) is of live kinds. First between the Jivas and the Lord; second, between the Jīvas inter se; third, between the Jivas and the insentient objects; fourth, between the Lord and the insentient object; fifth, between insentient objects inter se. As the difference is of five sorts, it is called prapañca. (Thus prapañca has come to mean plurality or that which is five-fold). (The word Pañca would have also denoted plurality; derived from the substantive pañcam five, and the affix “Ḍ”, with the force of jātiyar). The force of the word pra in Prapañca is to denote excellence. The knowledge of this five-fold nature of all plurality or bheda is the best means of getting release, hence this knowledge is called pra or excellent. Thus Prapañca means the Excellent—Release-Giving knowledge of the five-fold difference. Or Prapañca is so called because it is the most excellent pentad,—(a pentad, the knowledge of which gives Mukti.)

“If this plurality had a beginning, it would certainly come to an end at some time. But as it does not come to an end, therefore it never had any beginning”—The line māyā mātram far from supporting the advaita view, is an authority in favour of the Dvaita view:—

“The word māyā means the object of knowledge or consciousness of Viṣṇu.”

The plurality is an object of Divine knowledge. He the Lord cognises it. But cannot the Lord cognise an unreality. The answer to that is:—The plurality is not only a māyā, an object of Divine knowledge, but it is Mātram also.

“Since it is measured or cognised (Mata = known) by the Lord, it can never be an illusion, for no illusion can exist in the Lord, more so because the Lord delights (ramate=ra) in this plurality and Viṣṇu would never take delight in mere illusion. But in the case of Hari called the Paramārtha there exists no differentiation, as in the case of sentient or insentient beings.”

“If you say the plurality is merely an imagination,” we ask why does it not come to an end? (For all imagined things—like dream, etc., come to an end sometime or other).

(But says an objector. The Māṇḍukya Upaniṣad starts with a declaration of monism—“the Past, Present, Future, Yea all that is beyond the three-fold time is Om.” This shows that there is a Unity called Om, which is every thing, and that there is no such thing as plurality. Therefore these verses at the end must also be so construed (in an advaita sense) as to be consistent with the initial statement. To this the Brahma Tarka says you have misunderstood the initial statement. It does not mean all objects—whether in the past, present or the future are “Om.”

“But all times whether called Past, Present or Future or beyond these exist simultaneously in the Lord Janārdana Oṃkāra. (To Him there is no such thing as lime).

(The line ajñāte dvaitam. na vidyate means):—“In the Lord called ajñāta there is no difference or plurality. He is a homogeneous substance.”

(The word vidyate has been explained as produced, ‘created.’ The Commentator now shows why he has so explained this verb).

The word vidyate is derived form the √vidi “to accidentally manifest,” “to take form by chance,” “to happen.”

But in the ordinary Dhātupāṭha no such meaning is given to the √vid: where do you get this meaning? To this the Commentator answers:—

“Vidyate” has this meaning just as bhidyate means destroyed, though in the Dhātupāṭha the √bhid means ‘to split up,’ only.

In fact, verbal roots have many meanings and the proper meaning is to be ascertained from the context. The Dhātupāṭha does not give all the meanings. In the sentence “advaitam paramārthataḥ”, the force of the affix tas in Paramārtha is that of the Locative.

The word Paramārthataḥ means paramārthe (locative) ‘in the Lord.’ The affix tas has the same force here as in visvatas cakṣu, etc., “in all parts of body are his eyes—or his eyes are in every place.”

The meaning of the sentence “advaitam paramārthataḥ” means “in the Paramārtha or the Supreme End (the Lord) there is no plurality.” The God is one homogeneous substance.

Or it means the Paramārtha or the Supreme Self is Advaita. Here Paramārtha is taken in the Nominative case and not in the Locative; and the affix tas is superfluous.

The word vidyeta cannot be translated here “if it exists.” For then the sentence would stand thus: “if the plurality existed, it would undoubtedly come to an end.” It is an absurd statement, for the rule is that a thing that exists (has a real existence), never ceases to be. While the general rule is that a thing which is produced, sometimes does cease to exist, as such;. for production implies destruction. The eternal entities like the souls, (Jīvas), the Lord, the Prakriti, etc., never cease to exist, though they are existing objects.

Had the above text wanted to establish that the plurality was an imagined reality only (like that of a dream), then it would not have used the word Yadi or “if.” Had the Śruti meant to establish the imaginary nature of plurality, it would not have used the two Yadis “ifs” It would have plainly said “avidyamānoy’am prapañco vinivartate; kalpitas vikalpa, vinivartate”:—this five-fold plurality is non-existent (in reality) it therefore ceases; this plurality is imagined, therefore it ceases. But the Śruti has not used this form of statement. It has used a hypothetical form, and has used the veil) nivarteta in the Potential Mood. The form of hypothetical assertion, therefore, shows that the Śruti view is that the Prapañca is real, and not a product. (In fact, a hypothetical proposition is always a very strong form of making an assertion. As, “Had the volcano not been active, there would be no smoke really means that the volcano is active. Similarly the hypothetical proposition: Had the plurality been produced or imagined it would cease to exist or be sublated: really means:—The plurality is neither produced nor imagined, for it is never found to be non-existent or sublated).

As the plurality does not cease to exist or be sublated, it follows that the above Śruti text is in support of the reality of plurality and its eternity.

Not only does the above text establish the reality of plurality but the Gītā also censures them who think the world is unreal and a void:—(Gītā, XVI.8) “The universe is without truth, without (moral) basis; they say; without a God, brought about, by mutual union, and caused by lust and nothing else.” “The Vidyā or true knowledge consists in realising the difference between the Jīva and the Highest Self.”

While the following Śruti praises the knowledge of plurality and realisation of this difference (Śvet, 1.6)- “ṃ that vast Brahma wheel, in which all things live and rest, the bird flutters about, so long as he thinks that the Self (in him) is different from the mover (the God, the Lord). When he has been blessed by him, then he gains immortality.”

The word Asmi is the name of the Lord in the Śruti text, and is compounded of two words asana ‘throwing’ (from √as, ‘to throw’), and mi ‘knowledge.’ So Asmi means “the knowledge from which all imperfection has been thrown out.”

Note.—Thus Madhva again reverts to his great discovery that Asmi is the name of the Lord. Had he known that Asmi (“I Am”) is still the most favourite name of the Lord among the cognate Aryan race, the Pārsis, and perhaps borrowed from them by the Jews, who called the God, “I Am That I Am,” he would not have been at such pains to give a meaning to the word Asmi, other than that which it ordinarily possesses; and would have boldly said, God’s name is “I Am.”

The “Sarvam Asmi” would simply mean “The Perfect or Full I Am.” And the whole sentence would mean:—Let him meditate on the Lord called “The Full I Am.”

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: