Dvaita and Sophistry - Part 3(Inherent natures of jivas)

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Sun Mar 30 23:20:21 CST 2003

On Sun, 30 Mar 2003, Shrisha Rao wrote:

> Okay, fair enough.  However, if a prolonged duration is indicated without
> any recourse shown as to its end, then that shows an infinite duration
> only.
> > A pre-requisite for eternal transit is the eternal existence of
> > such dark worlds which again has not been indicated(definitely not by andHam
> > tamah).
> On the contrary, there is no indication that the transit is ever reversed.

Sure there is.  Both Ish. 11 and 14 talk about "mrtyu tirtva" crossing
over death.  The "people who kill the Self" go into the asurya lokA
that are characterized by blinding darkness after death.  (Ish 3.)  But if
death can be crossed over then it logically follows that the blinding
darkness is not a permanent state.

> A verb does not stress or support a noun.
> > The translations are advaitic translations. In the brihadaranyaka upanishad
> > 1.2.1, the word AtmA is not taken as meaning either the individual or
> > supreme Self but is read as the mind. If you accept it, then you are eating
> Let us deal with originals, not with translations (esp. unspecified ones
> that cannot be checked).

Take a look a little further on at 1.2.4:

so'kAmayata dvitIyo ma AtmA jAyeteti

He [Hiranyagarbha] wished "Let me have a second body."

Atma obviously means body here because having two souls is absurd.  No
Vedantic acharya would say that so why would Shankaracharya?  His gloss on
the text above is

dvitIyAM me mamAtmA sharIraM yenAhaM sharIrI syAM sa jayetotpadyeta
ityevametadakamayata |

Now if we go back to 1.2.1 we can see that atma there must refer to the
first body otherwise the reference to the second body makes no sense.

> In his BSB (1.3.1) Sri Sankara has explicitly stated his understanding to
> be that the word AtmA is *always* (samyak.h) used to refer to one thing
> and that no other meaning may be applied: Atmashabdashcha
> paramAtmaparigrahe samyak.h avakalpate, nArthAntaraparigrahe.  I could
> scarcely have conjured a more supportive statement were I able to have one
> made to order.

First it should be noted that this particular Brahmana of the
Brhadaranyakopanishad doesn't deal with jnana at all but is an upasana on
the origin of the fire used in the Ashvamedha yajna.
(agnerashvamedhopayogikasyotpattiruchyate as Shankaracharya puts it.) A
word may have different meanings in the different contexts of karma,
upasana, or jnana.  This work as the name suggests is both aranyaka and
upanishad and is embedded in the Shatapathabrahmana (all its' chapters are
called brahmanas) and contains elements of all three types of Vedic

Secondly BSB 1.3.1 is against the Samkhya.  They wouldn't interpret the
reference to atma in brhad. 1.2 differently either.  Rather the problem is
they say atma refers to pradhana (manifest prakrti) which is manifest in
multiple ways whereas Shankaracharya say the Vedic texts do not admit to
such a meaning but only to a singular entity.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
It's a girl! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/shailaja/

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