Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Satyam Jnanam Anantam Brahma

Words can never describe Brahman. The mind can never apprehend it.
yatho vacha nivarthanthe, aprapya manasa sahaThat words retreat, mind retreats, unable to illumine it.and
yad vacanabhyuditam yena vag abhyudyate.....yan manasa na manute yenahur mano matam
That through which speech is spoken but which speech itself is unable to express...that through which the mind functions but which is unreachable by the mind.
Brahman is revealed only through the Shruti. And by the mind alone is Brahman to be known.In the Katha Upanishad - manasaiva idam avAptavyamDrsyate tu Agryaya Buddhya Sukshmya Sukshma Darshibihi' for which Shankara gives the meaning asfollows :This atma is seen by the intellect(Buddhya), which has been conditioned by the words of the Veda and Guru (Agryaya), of the SukshmaDarshin - the one who sees the subtle.
There is an obvious paradox here.
To resolve this we need to first understand that Brahman does not refer to an existent object - Brahman is existence but Brahman is not a existent entity. Brahman is the subject. Visheshas, and gunas, are made known by a knowing which is neither opposed to them nor beyond them - so nirguna neither means without gunas nor really beyoond gunas - but in a way that which is the very essence of the gunas. Similarly every vishesha in its essence is Brahman.
A common "dvaita" contention is that Advaita(mayavada) in espousing nirgunam nirvishesham Brahman as the Absolute, is indistinguishable from shunyavada.
Let us try ot examine this with the famous positive description of Brahman satyam jnanam ananatam Brahman.
If satyam jnanam anantam were only employed to dismiss their opposites they would be visesana for Brahman. They are visesanas but they are also lakshanas - there is an object revealed by them - a nonexistent object cannot have lakshanas.
Visesana is always vyavartaka - by definition it has to differentiate. Satyam has vyavartakam because it negates anrtam, and similarly jnanam negates jadam, and anantam negates antavat - if after these negations brahman were aprasiddha there would be nothing left at all - shunya.
But they are not just visesanas they are lakshanas - Brahman lakshanaarthatvaat.Satyam and jnananm are bhagatyaga lakshana - the bhagatyaga is done by the anantasabda.
Visesana distinguishes a visesya. Why three words are needed to distinguish shunya. Shunya is enough of a word to do its job. Shunya has no opposite that needs negation and it has no quality that needs distinguishing. The satyaadi padaani do not have any meanings that would give them a role to play in revealing sunya. Satyaadi padaani need to retain or preserve their meanings that they possess in other to be visesena or lakshana.
Satyam means asti. (I-as dhatu) That which you understand to exist using a valid pramanam is called vyavaharika satyam. It expresses existence as in time. Sat is always seen as a quality of an object as an attriubte of the object. The flower is here, that tree is longer there. But in fact asti IS the substantive and the object is the visesana! "IS" is satyam, astitvam, invariable chaitanyam. It is "is" plus the object that gives you vrtti. In Is-ness - the flower. Anantam satyam and anantam jnanam alone is there. Anantam comes with a negative particle. It negates any limitation any paricheda. Satyam and jnanam are a little different - they lend their positive meanings - from satyam we get sarvakaranam - Yato va imani bhutani jayante yena jatani jivanti yat prayanty abhisam-visanti tad brahma tad vijijnasasva (Taittiriya Upanisad, 3.1).
Jna dhatu which is used in the sense of knowing implies abadhitam satyam. Brahman is not opposed to the known and it is not opposed to the knower. Asti brahma can make brahman a third person - I you and brahma all asti. But jnanalakshana - there is no other source of knowledge than you. Everything else is an object of knowledge. Jnanam brahma is thus a mahavakya. Brahman is the very svarupa of the knower - Brahman is Atma!
Clearly words do not reveal the vastu which is not another object in the world. They lose their power to reveal. But words alone are necessary - they have to be employed. They imply and thereby reveal because this is svaprakasa atma, which does not require to be revealed. Atma does not require to be seen or experienced by anybody. Atma is self-revealing satyam. The words come back. Brahman is not available in the range of the power of the words to reveal. Mind comes back too - (unlike in the case of love, sweetness where words fail but mind enjoys access.)
Mind here is referred to by Shankara as manah iti pratyaya. Mind means cognition by which objects are recognized - the cognitive thought form is called pratyayah. Brahman is nirgunam brahman and there is no given pratyaya for which brahman is the object. But in every cognition - pratibodha viditam - there is the invariable presence of the Atma. Atma is not bodha vishya it is not a particular pratyaya vishaya. There is sabda vachapravrtti only where there is visesajnanam.Without pratyaya there is no word at all - words and mind go together.
Shruti negates brahmasabdavachyatvam. When we refer to any object the adjectives have vachyatvam. I want to describe one particular lily - I say it is blue and fragrant and large - there is no svarupavisesana in the phrase blue fragrant large lily - all their adjectives have their vaachya in the object - the words each have their own meaning - bhinnapravrti - each word has its own shabdapravrti - guna and jati. The 3 adjectives become samanadikaranyam and visheyavisheshanasambandha, The vakyartha is apparent because svartha of the adjectives is found in the substantive lily. But satyam jnanam anantam does not have vakyartha. Brahman is not buddhi atitam. There is nothing existent other than brahman.Brahman is anantasabda lakshana - every buddhi vrtti is nothing but chaitanya. Every vrtti has its svarupa in chaitanya. Vrtti is the lakshana for the invariable chaitanyam. Thus jnanasvaupam brahma - when pot jnanam comes cloth jnanam goes away but jnanam as brahman does not create nor displace thought - it is the content of every thought. Brahmajnanam is present in every transient vrtti as the common uninteruptible matrix AND is also there in between any two vrttis. Consciousness does not come and go with your thoughts. Thus, Atma does not have dharma of consciousness - Atma IS consciousness. Jnaptih is nonseparate from atmasvarupa. Everything else takes the form of a vrtti and vrtti is the lakshana of lakshya consciousness. As the Shruti famously asserts elsewhere - na hi vijnatu vijnateh viparilopah vidyate (Br.Up. 4.3.30) - for the knower's consciousness - the consciousness which is the svarupa of the knower, there is no destruction
If the vachya meaning of the lakshanas were taken brahmanah sabdapravrttihetutvamsyaat. Hetutvam means the status of being a cause.Sabdapravrttihetutvam means something which can be identified by the immediate meaning of words. A vastu pot has sabdapravrttihetutvam - it has jati guna kriya and sambandha. Brahman sabdapravrtihetutvam nasti - why? anantam brahma - no jati no guna no kriya no sambandha. Anantam dismisses any limiting factor that would provide hetutvam for Brahman. Jnanasabda does the same thing. Brahmasabdasya - satyam jnanam anantam enjoy samanadhikaranayam. It is satyam that is anantam/abhaditam - so jnanasabda is akaarakaartha. This is nityaswarupajnanam. JNanam is nirvisesam. Satyasabdartha is not vachya because nirvisesam brahma. Thus sabdapravrttihetutvam nasti. Satyam is indicated by lakshyate not by uchyate. Brahman is the one in whose svarupa all the visesas are completely inapplicable. Brahman is the satta of everything. Everything else is namarupa visesa with regard to satta brahman. This is abhaditam satyam brahma. Brahman is not tuccham not sunyam not aropitam of anything. Understood with anantam brahma satyam is limitless timefree existence.
Satyam jnanam anantam each word is a explanatory equivalent and in its fullest meaning, governs the other two and thereby gives new, expanded meanings. Satyam is that which is not subject to negation that which does not undergo any change and sarvasya karanam. Jnanam satyam means that brahman is not jadam and, because satyam, there is no jnanakartrtvam. As anantam brahman is nirvisesam and it is nondual. Brahman is desakalavastu aparachinnam jnanasvarupam. Being so and being controlled by each other satyam jnanam and anantam completely release the meaning that is brahman. They release from the vachyartha this brahman which is being revealed. Otherwise without using words we know, how will we understand Brahman? By the mind alone, by vrttijnana alone, we understand brahman, that which all words and mind come back from without reaching - that is what lakshana does, By lakshana there is sabdapravrtti, and brahman is neither an object in the world known by words nor something whose nature cannot be revealed by words. Brahman like Akasha is rudhi - there is only one. THere is no basis for sabdapravrtti. How is brahman going to be known by us? How is it to be revealed? Shastra does it by lakshanarta. The words give up their vachya meanings but the meaning is not beyond words. As in "atma vaare drstavya" and "manasa eva anudrstavyam" - by lakshana alone Brahman IS revealed.
Atma is beyond words and mind.But the whole shastra is words and mind.
Thus satyam jnanam anantam brahman itself is a mahavakya. If there is any doubt about the meaning of the mahavakya the doubt is removed in the second line yo veda nihitam guhayam parame vyoman - that means Brahman is not paroksha; Atma is Nitya Aparoksha Atma. Buddhi is non-separate from the Atma~!!