SankarAcArya's bhagavad gItA bhAshya: 2. 19-20

Anand V. Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Jun 8 17:13:12 CDT 1999

> na jAyate mriyate vA kadAcin na ayaM bhUtvA abhavitA vA na bhUyaH |
> ajo nityaS SASvato 'yaM purANo na hanyate hanyamAne SarIre || 2. 20 ||

 For comparison, madhusUdana sarasvatI gives an interpretation to the
 verse, reading "bhavitA" rather than "abhavitA".

 "na jAyate mriyate vA" rules out the birth and death of the Atman.
  This is treated as a statement to be established - pratiGYA.

 The pratiGYA is established by establishing "na jAyate" and
 "na mriyate" separately. How is "na jAyate" (is not born) established
 of the Atman? kadAchit=kasminnapi kAle, na bhUtvA = abhUtvA, prAg.h,
 bhUyaH = punarapi, bhavitA, na. (na jAyate) is established because
 it is not the case that being not born/existed before, (the Atman)
 comes into being. This Atman existed before, so It cannot be born.
 Therefore the conclusion (upasaMhAra) is that the Atman is unborn (aja).

 How is "na mriyate" of the Atman established? ayaM (AtmA) prAg-bhUtvA
 bhUyo na bhavitA na vA. Having existed before, the Atman will not
 go into non-existence. Therefore, the conclusion is that the Atman is
 nitya (eternal).

 MadhusUdana justifies reading na bhUtvA as abhUtvA (naJNsamAsa), based on
 an argument used by the mImAmsakas and also on the basis of pANinii.

 "nAnuyAjeshhu yeyajAmahaM karoti" This occurs in the Apastamba shrauta
 sUtra. The question before the mImAMsaka is whether the "na" is to be
 taken with "yeyajAmahaM karoti" or with "anuyAjeshhu."

 1) If taken with the verbal ending, the meaning becomes "He utters not
  (or should not utter) 'ye yajAmahe' in the post-sacrifices (anuyAjeshhu)."

 2) If the "na" is taken with the "anuyAjeshhu", the meaning becomes, "He
    utters (or should utter) 'ye yajAmahe' in sacrifices _other_than_ the

 The first interpretation above causes problems for the mImAMsaka because
 there is already a more general injunction which says:

 3) "yajatishhu yeyajAmahaM karoti", one should utter "ye yajAmahe" in
    sacrifices. (Apastamba shrauta sUtra)

 According to the mImAmsaka, if 1) is taken as a prohibition that overrides
 3), it (interpretation 1)) constitutes only an option not a prohibition
 of 3). No authoritative statement or injunction can be completely
 overridden by another if there is any inter-dependence between the two.
 At best, in such cases, one injunction can offer an alternative to another
 injunction, but not a prohibition. In the case where the two injunctions
 are not interdependent, one may override the other.

  For example, the injunction
 "yad.h AhavanIye juhoti", that he offers oblation in the AhavanIya fire,
 which is a general rule, there may be exceptional cases, where  oblation
 is offered not in the AhavanIya fire but in the footprints of certain
 animals. When a cow is to be given in exchange for the soma at the soma
 purchase, and is brought forward from her stall, in her seventh footprint,
  oblation is to be offered. "saptame pade juhoti" Here the injunctions
 "yad.h AhavanIye juhoti" and "saptame pade juhoti" are said to be
 independent of one another and their jurisdictions are different. So
 there is no alternative (vikalpa). But in the case of 3) and 1) above,
 1) seems to be  contradicting 3). Since both 3) and 1) would have equal
 authority, one cannot be annuled by the other. So the best case scenario,
 is that 1) offers an option to 3) in the post-sacrifices. But this
 causes problems. If one utters "ye yajAmahe" in the post-sacrifices,
 1) loses its authority and if one does not utter "ye yajAmahe" in post-
 sacrifices, then 3) loses its authority. Besides, there would be an
 uncertainty in the adR^ishhTa-phala, the unseen result of the post-
 sacrifices. If one follows 1) and does not say "ye yajAmahe", there
 would be one adR^ishhTa or if one follows 3) and utters "ye yajAmahe",
 there would be another adR^ishhTa. So the outcome of the sacrifice
 would uncertain and so having an option such as this is not proper.

 On the other hand, by taking interpretation 2) as the correct one for
 "nAnuyAjeshhu yeyajAmahaM karoti", there is no problem. The injunctions
 3) and 2) taken together would mean that "ye yajAmahe" must be uttered
 in sacrifices, other_than_ the post-sacrifices. Instead of option
 (vikalpa), we have exclusion (paryudAsa). So the correct interpretation
 is :
 "anuyAjavyatirikteshhu yeyajAmahaM karoti"

 And in post-sacrifices, there is neither an injunction nor a prohibition
 of uttering "ye yajAmahe"

 Coming back to gItA 2.20, madhusUdana justifies reading "na" and "bhUtvA"
 as a samAsa or compound of na and bhUtvA.

 atra bhUtvetyatra samAsa-abhAve api nAnupapattir-nAnuyAjeshhvitivat.h


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