[Advaita-l] Who is this Angustha Parimana Purusha?

Praveen R. Bhat bhatpraveen at gmail.com
Sun Apr 3 07:56:34 CDT 2016

Namaste Shashwata ji,

On Fri, Apr 1, 2016 at 7:00 PM, Shashwata Shastri via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> First part of my question does not concern about the finite Brahman (which
> is imagined as a Thumb). The goal of the question was to retrieve the
> mystery- "Why thumb in the first place? Why not index, Pinky fingers? Why
> not defining the size by relating the Brahman with other objects? What is
> mystery behind stating thumb?!" The thumb can not be a mere example or form
> which was imagined upon Brahman! There must be a definite reason to imagine
> a thumb I simply want to know about that reason.
There are two explanations I have heard of, regarding the usage of thumb,
which are as below...

1) The hRt/ heart is said to be the size of a closed palm and in scriptures
it is compared with a lotus (hRtpuNDarIka) since the heart looks like an
inverted lotus. When the palm is closed with the thumb inside, that is the
size of the heart. The space taken by the thumb in this position within the
heart is where the Atma is understood to be as per the shAstras. Why?
Because it is not really the physical heart though the simile is used so.
In all such occurrences of hRt, Bhashyakara says that it is to be
understood as buddhi, since buddhi is the upalabdhi sthAna of Atma. That is
what anguShThamAtra puruSha means.

2) As Chandramouliji said, thumb represents brahman in chinmudra, while the
index finger is jIva. The other three fingers are the sthUla, sUkShma and
kAraNa sharIras. When not in chinmudra/ ignorant, the index finger/ jIva
stands tall in ignorance associated with the three bodies, but when he
bends down to the shabdapramANa, he attains oneness with the thumb/
brahman, leaving the bondage of three fingers/ bodies.

--Praveen R. Bhat
/* Through what should one know That owing to which all this is known!
[Br.Up. 4.5.15] */

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