V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Thu Feb 18 06:08:40 CST 2010

Namaste Sharma ji,

Your questions are welcome.  Pl. see my replies between [ ] under each of
your questions.

On Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 4:05 PM, Varadaraja Sharma <
rishyasrunga at rediffmail.com> wrote:

> Radhe Krishna
> Shriman Subrahmanian, Radhe Krishna, PranAmaH
> I am a learner and from that perspective I have been reading with interest
> the postings on drushti and satya; paramartika satyam and vyavaharika
> satyam.  I am still perplexed and could not comprehend “vyavaharika satyam
> and pratibasika satyam” and have following doubts.
> 1.      Does the word “Satyam” wherever occurs in “Shruti” mean “permanent
> truth”?

[No. it does not mean 'permanent truth' always.  Here is a quote from the
original article:

//Even in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad there is an instance of two ‘satyam’
words occuring in one sentence: (सत्यस्य सत्यम् इति) प्राणा वै सत्यं तेषामेष
सत्यम् (‘It is the Truth of truth’.  The Upanishad itself explains what this
‘truth’ occurring for the second time is: ‘The vital force is truth, and It,
Brahman, is the Truth of that.) 2.1.20. //

Here, you may see that two 'satyam' words are there, in the bracketed
portion, one is  in shashThi vibhakti and one in prathamaa.  The former is a
reference to 'prANaaH' and therefore not the pAramArthika Satyam.  This is
because, from the Absolute standpoint prANaa, etc. that are only created
effects, cannot be the Absolute Satyam, the Uncreated Brahman.  In the
Mundaka Upanishad the aspirant gains vairagyam after considering and
concluding that the Uncreated Truth cannot be attained by the created
means:  नास्ति अकृतः कृतेन. ]

2.      The preamble to Advaita says “Brahma satyam; Jagat Mithya”. Further,
> from your posting on “Paramarthika satyam and Vyavaharika satyam”, I
>  understood, that the perception of mirage – water gets “corrected” in
> “Vyavahara” itself and even “empirical truth” in “vyavaharika jagat” gets
> “corrected” on attaining “Brahma Jnyana”.  Whether it is “Pratibasikam” or
> “Vyavaharikam”, when as to what is perceived is “incorrect” which requires
> “correction”, then why the “incorrect” perception is termed as “satyam”?

[ Even this I have already explained in the original article:

          //   The rope-snake is spoken of as a ‘reality’ in so far as the
person under  delusion holds it to be real.  However, this reality is
contingent upon the knowledge of the substratum, upon gaining which the
delusion ceases.  //  Thus, it is called satyam only with a concession,
notionally, aupachArikam.
As for the the created universe, the jagat of vyavahara, the Upanishad
itself calls it 'satyam'.  This is the very mantra we discussed in the
article.  The Upanishad  is only alluding, as an anuvAdaka,  to/of our
avichArita-siddha anubhava, unenquired-into-experience that the experienced
world/vyavahara is real.  We hold it to be real and the Shruti is using this
very experience of ours to denote the created world and calls it 'satyam'.
We ourselves hold the rope-snake, etc. as unreal.  Hence the Shruti calls it
'anRtam', in tune with our practice.]

 3.      About the terms, “rutam” and “satyam”.  I have noticed these two
> terms together like in the following verses :
> a)      “rutagum satyam param brahma purusham krushna pingalam”

[The meaning of the above passage is reproduced below from the translation
of Sayana Bhashya as given in the book titled 'Mahanarayanopanishad' by
Swami Vimalananda, published by Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai:

//The translation given is based on Sayana who takes 'Rtam' as adjectival
and 'satyam' as substantival and explains that while the term 'satyam' alone
denotes pragmatic truth, when qualifed by 'Rtam' it conveys the idea of the
Absolute Truth which is Parabrahman.  The exact words of Sayana are: परं
सर्वस्मादुत्कृष्टं ब्रह्म परमार्थवस्तु ऋतं सत्यं अत्यन्तसत्यम् । //]

> b)      “rutancha svadhyaya pravachanecha”; “satyancha svadhyaya
> pravachanecha”

[Here I give the commentary of Shankaracharya for the Shanti mantra
occurring at the beginning of the Taittiriyopanishad:  Rtam: righteousness,
is an idea fully ascertained by the intellect in accordance with the
scriptures and in conformity with practice. Satyam: truth, is that which is
reduced to practice thru speech and bodily action.

While commenting on the passage you have quoted, Shankaracharya says these
two words are to be seen in the light of what 'has been already explained'.
And that is what is found above.  In effect it could be understood that in
this context Rtam is that which is at the mental level and satyam is what
gets transformed into speech and action. ]

> c)      “rutancha satyanchabidha tapasodyajayata”
> Are these two terms synonymous or there is any difference or gradation?

[The above passage, occurring in the 'AghamaRshaNa sUktam', is commented
upon thus by Sayana: ...Rtam (righteousness, dharma) and Satyam
(truth).....Here too you could be guided by the Shankara bhashyam seen
above: Rtam is the mental resolve based on dharma and satyam is the giving
expression to it thru speech and action.]

> Radhe Krishna
Om Tat Sat

> _______________________________________________
> Archives: http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/
> http://blog.gmane.org/gmane.culture.religion.advaita
> To unsubscribe or change your options:
> http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/cgi-bin/listinfo/advaita-l
> For assistance, contact:
> listmaster at advaita-vedanta.org

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list