[Advaita-l] dva suparNA

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Fri Nov 13 04:51:38 CST 2015

Dear Sri Subbuji,
Once again, a fantastic email. We are really grateful for your

With respect to the mundaka bhAshyam, by using the terms सर्वज्ञः and
in describing the second bird AchArya seems to be indeed referring to

Whereas in Brahma SUtra 1.2.12 by using terms such as "सर्व्सम्सारधर्मातीत:
ब्रह्मस्वभाव चैतन्य्मात्र्स्वरूप:" and  "अविक्रियात् क्षेत्रग्यस्य", he
seems to be referring to nirguNa Brahman.

If it is nirguNa Brahman in both places, why did AchArya use the terms
सर्वज्ञः and सत्त्वोपाधिरीश्वर:?

Jaldhar ji,

"I think the crucial concept in the two birds metaphor is embodiment.  It
is the identification with pleasure and pain (and all the other pairs of
dualities) which has made the first bird suffer.  But within the living
body there is also calm and freedom which is represented by the second bird
and to recognize this will eventually lead the embodied 'I' beyond limited
identification with a body."

I agree completely.

Chandramouli ji

"Hence in my view it is sufficient , in understanding the Bhashya/Shruti ,
 to distinguish between Jiva on the one hand and Brahman(
nirguna)/Iswara(saguna)/Kutastha/Sakshi on the other ( to be understood
contextually and according to individual temperament of the sadhaka)."

In general, I would tend to agree with you. Based on the context, one can
understand which term is being referred to. However, in this case, as
pointed by you, with respect to the same mantra, ShankarA seems to refer to
a sarvagya Isvara in one place and nirguNa chaitanyam in another. I would
like to understand how to interpret Shankara's seemingly different
treatment of the second bird in Mundaka vs Paingi Rahasya Brahmana (as
occurring in BSB 1.2.12).

Any thoughts on this would be helpful.

On Fri, Nov 13, 2015 at 9:41 AM, V Subrahmanian
<v.subrahmanian at gmail.com> wrote:


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