What is the exact meaning/significance of this?

kalyan chakravarthy kalyan_kc at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Apr 11 12:09:41 CDT 2003


Now before attempting to share my thoughts with you it would be better to
tell you that I have not read any traditional interpretations regarding this
hymn as of now. I am just trying to do a little bit of speculation. So, dont
be surprised if my speculation is inconsistent with the traditional

>How are you interpreting mAyA in relation to the early

Not directly. The exact reference to neither existence nor non-existence is
actually nirguNa brahman. As in the Gita Sri Krishna tells Arjuna in verse
13.13 - "It(brahman) is not said to be sat or asat." Going further Sri
Krishna says that Brahman is nirguNa. Further evidence is from the
brihadAraNyaka upanishad which says that the description of brahman is neti
neti.(roughly, not in this manner) The BU also says that there is no better
description than this. Even more evidence can be found in mandukya upanishad
verse 7(am I right?) where AtmA is said to be beyond the dealings of the
empirical world, and inaccessible to logic etc.

At this point I want to be honest. I am actually finding it very difficult
to interpret the nAsadIya sUkta. But I am more or less certainly sure(or
atleast I feel that I am sure) that neither existence nor non-existence can
refer to nirguNa brahman only.

The being in the hymn could be Ishvara???. What is non-being? Shunya???
Creation should have actually proceeded from the being(or atleast I think
so.) This is because of the Chandogya Upanishad statement which says that
Sat or existence was there in the beginning.(and this later gave rise to
everything.) Further support MIGHT(I stress it , it is a big MIGHT) come
from mandukya upanishad which says prAjna as the source of creation and
dissloution of the universe.

There are actually two problems that arise at this point.

1.How did *neither being nor non-being* which is nirguNa brahman give rise
to a being(Ishwara or saguNa  brahman) with attributes???

2. How did creation proceed from the being?

Question 1 is beyond my scope. Question 2 is also not better. For if the
being (Ishvara) is Anandamaya, then why should He create anything? He would
be satisfied with Himself as He is an enjoyer of bliss. Thus, both questions
1 and 2 are beyond my scope.

Moreover, the last hymn says, *The highest diety in the skies, he knows it,
or may be he does not.* Who is this highest diety? My vote is for
Ishvara(not nirguNa brahman). Even the sruti is not able to tell for sure
whether he knows it or not.(Is that true or am I just reading it like that?)
Which means it(the answers to questions 1 and 2) must be something which is
indescribable or anirvachaniya. Let us call this as mAyA.

Is mAyA "being"? No. That status goes to Ishvara.
Is it "non-being"? No. For that which is non-being cannot be the cause of
Is it both? No. For being and non-being are opposites and I dont understand
how something can be opposites at the same time.
Is it neither? No. For that status has been given to nirguNa brahman.

Question: So what is it?
Answer: Please dont ask me. For all that we know even Ishvara might not know
it.(If at all he bothers to know it in the first place.)

May be all my interpretation is completely wrong. But that is for the
learned members of the forum to decide.

Best Regards

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