[Advaita-l] adhyAropa - apavAda in the SrImadbhaagavatam

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Thu Feb 10 00:26:31 CST 2011

The adhyAropa-apavAda method of the Shruti is perhaps best demonstrated in
the maanDUkya UpaniShad.

At the very beginning the Upanishad starts with the declaration:

सोऽयमात्मा चतुष्पात् (This Atman is four-footed/parted).  Now, while
Atman/Brahman is 'niravayavam', without any divisions, of any type,
sajAteeya, vijAteeya and svagata, how is it the Upanishad says there are
four 'parts' to Atman?  It is because the aim of the Upanishad is to teach
the absolutely part-less Atman and since this is an impossible task UNLESS
parts to it are superimposed, adhyAropa, on it.  What are the parts
superimposed by the Upanishad?

The first pAda is the jAgrat pAda where the One Supreme Absolute Advaita,
secondless, Consciousness is shown to be, in its vyaShTi, individual,
aspect, as vishva, having the properties of a waking individual.
Simultaneously, the samaShTi aspect, the total aspect of this very One
Consciousness is shown as the virAT.

The second pAda is the delineation of the One Consciousness as taijasa in
the individual, and HiraNyagarbha in the samaShTi, the dream state with the
appropriate properties.

The third pAda, the suShupti, is the presentation of this very One
Consciousness as prAjna, in the individual mode and Ishwara in the total
mode, with their properties.

So far the Upanishad has done the adhyAropa on that One Consciousness of the
properties of the three individual and three total entities.  How do we know
that it is adhyAropa that the Upanishad has done?  It is by looking at the
seventh mantra therein:

नान्तःप्रज्ञं न बहिष्प्रज्ञं.....अदृष्टं अव्यवहार्यं अग्राह्यं अलक्षणं
अचिन्त्यं अव्यपदेश्यं एकात्मप्रत्ययसारं * प्रपञ्चोपशमं शान्तं शिवं
अद्वैतं *चतुर्थं
मन्यन्ते स आमा स विज्ञेयः [Turiya is not that which is conscious of the
inner (subjective) world, nor that which is conscious of the outer
(objective) world, nor that which is conscious of both, nor that which is a
mass of consciousness. It is not simple consciousness nor is It
unconsciousness. It is unperceived, unrelated, incomprehensible,
uninferable, unthinkable and indescribable. The essence of the Consciousness
manifesting as the self in the three states, It is the cessation of all
phenomena; It is all peace, all bliss and non—dual. This is what is known as
the Fourth (Turiya). This is Atman and this has to be realized.]

It can be easily seen that the seventh mantra negates every property that
the earlier mantras specified with regard to the Consciousness both in its
aspect as vyaShTi (jiva) and in its aspect as samaShTi (Ishvara).  This
negating mode is called apavAda.  Why does it do this?  It is with a view to
present the Turiya, as this upanishad seeks to call, name, the Unnamable
Reality that transcends all duality, as shAntam, Shivam, Advaitam as the
self, Atma, to be realized, 'sa vijneyaH'.  The crucial word in this mantra
is 'prapanchopashamam', the Absolute Truth free of any superimposition of
the world.  The earlier mantras had presented the samaShTi as the total, the
bhogabhUmi of all the vyaShTi jivas seeking bhogya.  This platform where
both the vyaShTi and samaShTi operate is called the prapancha, the world
consisting of five bheda-s.  This entire world, along with the vyaShTi and
samaShti upadhis, the seventh mantra negates through that word
'prapanchopashamam'.  The adhyAropa of the prapancha in all the three states
by the upanishad is now negated, apavAda, by the seventh mantra.

Thus, one can see that the adhyAropa-apavAda method used by this upanishad
demonstrated unmistakably across the various mantras.

Om Tat Sat

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