[Advaita-l] Re: Advaita-l Digest, Vol 1, Issue 29

Jay Nelamangala jay at r-c-i.com
Fri May 30 09:33:32 CDT 2003

I am very glad that you brought this one up.

>That Sruti and smRti do describe brahman is already covered in the sUtra-s
>"SAstra-yonitvAt" and "tat tu samanvayAt". There is no reason to offer
>another sUtra to return to the same topic after it has already been
>concluded. Moreover, how about pada-sangati? How would your explanation of
>the sUtra tie in with that of the next few ones, gauNaS cen na AtmaSabdAt
>etc? The intention of the sUtrakAra cannot be how you understand it.

What is samanvaya?

The "sam" in samanvaya stands for two ideas
1) taking the primary meaning of vEdic words and
2) taking the entire Veda into consideration ( not a few sentences, but all
rig, yajur,sAma, atharva,  all of mantra, brAhmaNa, AraNyaka, upanishat,
all of karma-kAnda, all of jnAna-kAnda or any other kAnda that one might
have chosen to ignore / include ).

The IkshatyadhikaraNa has come about to establish the fact that
such a Samanvaya is possible.

Shrutis say "yatO vAchO nivartantE" and "yad vAchA anabhyuditam" etc
therefore, there is a possibility for one to think that Brahman is
shabda-avAchya.   If Brahman is shabda-avAchya then how is Samanvaya
possible?.   To remove this doubt,  Sri VedavyAsa said
"Om IkshatErna ashabdam Om".
Shrutis "AtmanyEvAtmAnam pashyEt"   tell us that
(One has to see (understand) Brahman (AtmAnam) who is in oneself (Atmani))
"vijnAya prajnAm kurveeta" -  BrihadAraNyaka

These indicate that Brahman is jNana-gamya.  Therefore,  Brahman must be

The next sootra, "Om GouNaschEnna AtmashabdAt Om"  clarifies the
fact that Shrutis have called Parabrahman as Atma because  He is not

Again GouNa stands for two ideas here:
1) GouNartha or secondary meaning .
2) GouNa - guNabaddha - One who is bound by the three guNas or prakrti.

Sri VedavyAsa tells us that,  "GouNaha chEt na"
If you  take primary meaning of the word Atman, then what you get is
ParamAtma and not this guna-baddha jeeva.

Thus although "Atma" shabda has been used for both jeeva and paramAtma
in its  primary meaning it stands for paramAtma,  and the usage of
"Atma" shabda for jeeva is only secondary (upachAra )
Smritis declare this as "anAtmani Atma shabdastu sOpachArah prayujyatE"

The next sootra, "Om tanniShTasya mOkshOpadEshAt Om"  removes
any doubt that may still be lingering about this interpretation.

When one becomes this Brahma-NishTa  ( Atma-nishTa),  the result is Moksha.

No one has gotten mOksha by being jeeva-NishTa ( in simple english it is
being self centered).
Every man, and every insect  gets to be self-centered nature
by birth,  we dont need VedOpanishats and Geetha telling us to be
To remove being jeeva-nishTa,  and to become Brahma-NishTa - one needs to
understand and implement teachings of VedOpanishats & Geetha in one's life
attain the Highest Good.

Sri Krishna has put all these facts together when he says,
"guNebhyascha param vEtti madbhAvam sO adhigacchati"  (14.19)

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