Upadesha Sahasri (Verse Section 3)

ken knight hilken_98 at YAHOO.COM
Sat Mar 15 14:54:45 CST 2003

Namaste all,

Here is another short section that continues with
reflection on the way of negation; that the texts that
describe Brahman as 'not large etc'are there to
eradicate false superimpositions on Reality.
 I will be away in the mountains of Ireland for a
couple of weeks and then 'on the road' in Scotland for
a week more, so will post the fourth section after
April 7th.

Best wishes

Ken Knight


 (The Lord ( IShvara) as One’s True Self)

(Note. In Shankara’s writings the terms IShvara and
Brahman are sometimes used synonomously)

1.      The aspirant cannot know that he is Brahman if It
be different from the Self. (It then contradicts the
Shruti). But if he has the conviction that he, the
Self, is Brahman (there is no contradiction to the
Shruti). This is (right) Knowledge which destroys

The above is Swami Jagadananda’s translation but both
Alston and Mayeda have a slightly different phrasing
which I think is important. They write respectively:
‘If the Lord were not one’s true Self, it would be
wrong to meditate on ‘I am He’.  ‘If the Lord is
non-Atman one ought not to dwell upon (the knowledge)
I am He.’

2.      What would be the use (of the description by the
Shruti) of the qualities, ‘not large’ (Br.Up. 3.8.8)
etc. if they were the qualities of one other than the
Self, it being not (Br.Up. 1.4.7) an object of search?
But if Brahman (with these qualities) is the Self the
ideas such as largeness, smallness, etc. are negated
from the latter.

3.      Know, therefore, that the Shruti, ‘not large’ etc.
is meant to negate the false superimposition (of
largeness, smallness etc. on the Self) as would be a
description of a void if it were meant to negate those
qualities from one other than the Self.

4.      Moreover, the saying, (Mu.Up.2.1.2) ‘devoid of the
vital force, devoid of the mind, and pure’ would be
meaningless if these qualities were meant to be
negated from one which is other than the individual
Self, the aspirant.

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