[Advaita-l] The Purport of Creation-passages in the Upanishads

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Feb 15 04:42:23 CST 2010

श्रीगुरुभ्यो नमः

नमामि भगवत्पादं शङ्करं लोकशङ्करम्
In the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (2.1.20) bhashya the Acharya makes a very
तस्मादेकत्वप्रत्ययदार्ढ्याय सुवर्णमणि-लोह-अग्निविस्फुलिङ्ग-दृष्टान्ता न
उत्पत्त्यादि-भेदप्रतिपादनपराः ।
सैन्धवघनवत् प्रज्ञप्त्येकरस-नैरन्तर्यावधारणात् 'एकधैवानुद्रष्टव्यम्' (बृ.उप.
४.४.२०) इति च । ...तस्मादेकरूपैकत्वप्रत्ययदार्ढ्यायैव
सर्ववेदान्तेषु उत्पत्तिस्थितिलयादिकल्पना, न तत्प्रत्ययकरणाय ।
The above passage means:
// We know that a spark is one with fire before it is separated.  Therefore
the examples of gold
iron and sparks of fire are only meant to strengthen one's idea of the
oneness of the individual
self and Brahman, and not to establish the multiplicity caused by the origin
etc. of the universe.
For the Self has been ascertained to be homogeneous and unbroken
consciousness, like a lump
of salt, and there is the statement, 'It should be realized in one form
only.' (Br.Up.4.4.20).  If the
Shruti wanted to teach that Brahman has diverse attributes such as the
origin of the universe,
like a painted canvas, a tree, or an ocean, for instance, it would not
conclude with statements,
describing It to be homogeneous like a lump of salt, without interior or
exterior, nor would it say
'It should be realized in one form only'.  There is also the censure, 'He
(goes from death to death)
who sees difference, as it were, in It,' etc. (Br.Up.4.4.19, Ka.Up.  ).
Therefore the mention in all
Vedanta texts of the origin, continuity and dissolution of the universe is
only to strengthen
our idea of Brahman being a homogeneous unity, and NOT TO MAKE US BELIEVE IN

It would be interesting to note that the above passage of the Bhashyam is an
elucidation, a re-statement
of the Gaudapada Karika (GK) 3.15:
मृल्लोहविस्फुलिङ्गाद्यैः सृष्टिर्या चोदिताऽन्यथा ।
उपायः सोऽवताराय नास्ति भेदः कथञ्चन ॥
//The scriptural statements regarding the creation, using the examples of
earth, iron and sparks, etc.
is merely by way of generating the idea of oneness; multiplicity does not
really exist in any manner.//
One can readily recognize the GK wording in the Br.Up.Bhashya above:
And the entire purport of the GK is brought out in the above Bhashya quote.
In the GK bhashya, apart
from bringing out the intent of the creation-shruti passages as He has done
in the Br.Up.Bhashya above,
the Acharya is giving an additional example of the conversation of prANa and
other organs stated
in the various Upanishads.
The purpose of the above short study is to show that the GK is not an
extraneous work unrelated
to the other Upanishads/bhashyas of Bhagavatpada; He is quite emphatic in
His view of the
oneness of the GK viz-a-viz the other Upanishads.  The 'ajAtivAda' of the GK
is never given up or
diluted in any way by the Acharya in the other Upanishad bhashyas.

A request:  Recently while reading the Brahmasutra Bhashyam, I came across a
full verse from the GK
quoted.  Now I am unable to recall the Sutra and the verse.  I would be glad
to be reminded of these

Om Tat Sat

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