[Advaita-l] samsarga and vishishta - in a verse on Tat tvam asi in the Vākyavr̥tti of śankara

Ravi Kiran ravikiranm108 at gmail.com
Sat Dec 16 21:46:38 EST 2017

On Sat, Dec 16, 2017 at 9:41 PM, V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> There is what is called 'akhanḍārthatā' in knowing the meaning of 'aham
> brahma asmi'. It is not any relationship like attribute-noun. This is
> explained by a verse in the ‘Vākyavṛtti’ of Shankaracharya:
> संसर्गो वा विशिष्टो वा वाक्यार्थो नात्र सम्मतः |
> अखण्डैकरसत्वेन वाक्यार्थो विदुषां मतः .      || 23 ||
> Swami Jagadananda's translation and notes:
> What is meant by a sentence is not accepted either to be connected with
> (samsarga) or qualified by (viśiṣṭa) anything else. The meaning of the
> sentence, according to the wise, is an indivisible Being consisting of
> Bliss only.
> In the sentence ‘the lotus is blue’, the words ‘louts’ and ‘blue’ are in
> the same predicaments. Hence the word ‘lotus’ is qualified by the word
> ‘blue.’ The sentence, therefore, means that it is a blue lotus – not white,
> yellow or of any other color.  Again, the word ‘blue’ is qualified by the
> word ‘lotus’ i.e. the blueness does not belong to a piece of cloth or
> anything else. In this way the words ‘lotus’ and’blue’ qualify each other.
> That is what is called in the above verse ‘samsarga’ i.e. mutual connection
> or mutual qualification.
> Again, the same sentence may be construed to mean a lotus having the
> qualification of blueness and not vice-versa. This is what has been
> described in the above verse as ‘viśiṣṭa’ or ‘qualified’.
> Even though the words ‘Thou’ and ‘That’ are in the same predicament in the
> sentence ‘Thou art That’ (‘Tat tvam asi’), neither of the two constructions
> mentioned above is applicable to it. We therefore accept the meanings
> indirectly expressed by the words
> Based on the above and a Kannada translation of Swami Harshananda, here is
> a note on the terms 'samsarga' and 'vishishta':
> The idea is: in samsarga there is a mutual sambandha between blue and
> lotus.  The two are different entities. They are related to each other, as
> explained in the note above. Tat tvam asi is not teaching a relation
> between two entities. There are no two entities in tat and tvam; the One
> consciousness alone appears, owing to malina sattva upadhi (as jiva) and
> shuddha sattva upadhi (as Ishwara). When the upadhis are disregarded, there
> is One Consciousness alone that shines. In the case of qualifier/attribte,
> 'this is a blue lotus', again, there is a sambandha between the two
> entities: visheshana-visheshya. Tat tvam asi is neither of this type. The
> jiva and Ishwara are not placed in a visheshana-visheshya sambandha.  The
> tricky thing here is: how does one distinguish samsarga from vishishta, for
> they both appear similar, when the note above is read?  I understand them
> to be thus: samsarga: the two words 'blue and lotus' are related in this
> way (a) that which is blue is the lotus alone (and not anything else). (b)
> the lotus is blue only (and not any other color).  This kind of a sentence
> helps one determine the nature of the thing in the sentence: lotus.
> Vishishta:  the two, blue and lotus, are related as attribute and noun.
> This helps in distinguishing this lotus from lotuses of various other
> colors.  Thus, on the basis of purpose: samsarga - determining the nature
> of the object. vishishta: distinguishing one object from many of the same
> class.  Both these are valid vaakyarthas in their own spheres.  Tat tvam
> asi does not fall into either of these but is uniquely explained as having
> akhandaarthataa, where there is no relationship between tat and tvam.  A
> relationship is possible only when two entities are there.

Tat tvam asi, vAkya janya jnAnam is also termed as nirvikalpaka aparoksha
in paribhasa texts

> Thoughts from members here are welcome.
> regards
> subbu
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