[Advaita-l] dva suparNA

Siva Senani Nori sivasenani at yahoo.com
Sat Nov 14 22:49:51 CST 2015

I am sorry for responding so late - I was busy with other things. A number of learned members have stated that in the dvA suparNA mantra of Mu. Up. the second bird is nirguNabrahman. This is not so, in my view. Here the reasons:
1. The way the word sakhAyA is explained by Bhagavatpaada: सखाया सखायौ समानाख्यानौ समानाभिव्यक्तिकारणौ (They are "sakhas". Sakhas are those who are known (AkhyAna) to be equal (samAna), i.e. the reason for their manifestation (being known) is the same). NirguNabrahman cannot be known - It is beyond words. Only Brahman with the adjunct of maayaa can be known. Maayaa is the reason why Brahman is known either as ISvara or as jeeva. The same is reinforced by the next sentence: एवंभूतौ सन्तौ समानम् अविशेषमुपलब्ध्य अधिष्ठानतया (having so obtained similarity, i.e. non-difference, on account of the same substrate or base). The abhivyaktikAraNam is now being described as the adhisThAna, base. Therefore the second bird is ISvara, i.e. saguNabrahman.
2. The vRksha here is the metaphor for SarIra, and the birds cling to this vRksha = SaRira (as per the mantra). ISvara clings onto kAraNaSarIra and jIva to sUkshmaSarIra (or liñgaSarIra). NirguNabrahman does not cling onto anything.
3. The way ISvara is described by AcArya: अनश्नन् अन्यः इतरः ईश्वरो नित्यशुद्धबुद्धमुक्तस्वभावः सर्वज्ञः सत्त्वोपाधिरीश्वरो नाश्नाति । Here the term sattvopAdhiH ISvaraH is important. सर्वसत्त्वोपाधिरीश्वरः is another reading. I will give Swami Gambhirananda's translation of this line: ""AnaSnan, without tasting; anyaH, the other, God who is by nature eternal, pure, wise, and free, who is omniscient and ** has the totality of Maaya as His limiting adjunct ** - that God does not taste". NirguNabrahman has no upAdhi, whatsoever. Now, here the term "sarvajña" might be what is causing confusion. The following from Karl Potter's Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Vol III., p 77 might clarify (the context is that after describing Brahman as per Advaita, the author, Potter is describing God (ISvara).
"God (ISvara) is the cause of all this diversity. This basic point is set forth in the second BrahmasUtra . . . God is both the efficient and material cause of the world. . . . It is His light, His consciousness, that is reflected in avidyA as individual selves and the objects they cognize. What is difficult to comprehend from the standpoint of ordinary theism is that the Advaitin can say all this about God and yet view Him as conditioned by ignorance. . . . God's omnipotence, for instance, does not mean that he is responsible for the evil and imperfection in the world. God is subject to the karmic potentialities of individual selves in creating. He provides the opportunities for the jIvas to experience and thus work off their karmic residues. . . . Again, His omniscience is hardly a matter of knowing everything in the discursive way we think we know some things. His omniscience is a feature deriving from the mere fact that He is consciousness; it is His awareness - Him - on which we superimpose the contents we believe ourselves to be experiencing as we go through the world."
4. Finally if the second bird were nirguNabrahman, we will end up with ViSishTAdvaita!
RegardsN. Siva Senani

  From: kuntimaddi sadananda via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
 To: Venkatraghavan S <agnimile at gmail.com>; A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> 
 Sent: Sunday, 15 November 2015 8:27 AM
 Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] dva suparNA

On Sat, 11/14/15, Venkatraghavan S via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

 Sada ji,
 PraNAm. Thanks for the example.
 Just a thought - not sure if the interpretation is correct.
 The sarvajna:
 in that example indicates the "possession" of parA vidyA,
 and therefore I
 believe would have to be for mAyA vishishta chaitanyam, not
 for shuddha
Venkatraghavan - PraNAms

As Subbuji answered, the sarvavit will take care of vishiShTa chaitanyam - in the sense knowing everything with particulars - that constitute the apara vidya - which jiiva need not have to know to become a jnaani. 

Since separate word is used by the scriptures, and there is discussion before of para and apara vidya, sarvajna must indicate, as Sharkara comments, the saamaanya chaitanyam that pervades all the vishishTa chaitanyam, which can only be gained by wisdom eye or viveka by jiiva; and Paramaatma being the reflection in the pure satva, should be endowed with that knowledge. In a sense both refer to Iswaratvam. 

Hari Om!
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