[Advaita-l] Shell-silver example in Upanishads

Praveen R. Bhat bhatpraveen at gmail.com
Thu Dec 28 06:24:39 EST 2017

Namaste all,

Earlier this year, I'd posted a set of Upanishad mantras that mention the
rope-snake (

In continuation (prompted by Subbuji), here's one on शुक्तिकारजत
shell-silver example used in Upanishads for भ्रान्ति as well as creation
which is itself a delusion. The reasons for this exercise is quite similar
to those mentioned in my earlier post. Briefly, it is to establish that
whenever Bhashyakara uses these examples in His commentary on
dashopanishads, Gita or Brahmasutra, they are very-well backed up by other
Upanishads that He didn't comment on. One should not imagine that examples
imagined by Bhashyakara are against Shruti.

पैङ्गलोपनिषदि। In Paingalopanishad:

जलरौप्यपुरुषरेखादिवल्लोहितशुक्लकृष्णगुणमयी गुणसाम्यानिर्वाच्या

(Translated by Dr. A. G. Krishna Warrier) In it existed the primordial and
indefinable Prakriti, consisting of Gunas in a state of equipoise, red,
white and dark, resembling (the existence of) water, silver, a man and
outlines (respectively) in the mirage oyster-shell, a stump and a mirror;
what was reflected in it was the Witness Consciousness.

योगकुण्डल्युपनिषदि। In Yogakundalyupanishad:

मृषैवोदेति सकलं मृषैव प्रविलीयते।

रौप्यबुद्धिः शुक्तिकायां स्त्रीपुंसोर्भ्रमतो यथा ॥ ८०॥

(Translated by K. Narayanasvami Aiyar) 80. Whatever appears is unreal.
Whatever is absorbed is unreal. Like the illusory conception of silver in
the mother-of-pearl, so is the idea of man and woman.

वराहोपनिषदि। In Varahopanishad:

शुक्तिकाया यथा तारं कल्पितं मायया तथा ।

महदादि जगन्मायामयं मय्येव केवलम् ॥ १५॥

(Translated by K. Narayanasvami Aiyar) 15. As to the mother-of pearl, the
illusory conception of silver is falsely attributed, so to me is falsely
attributed through Maya this universe which is composed of Mahat, etc.

महोपनिषदि। In Mahopanishad:

द्विचन्द्रशुक्तिकारूप्यमृगतृष्णादिभेदतः ।

अभ्यासं प्राप्य जाग्रत्तत्स्वप्नो नानाविधो भवेत् ॥ ५.१५॥

(Translated by Dr. A. G. Krishna Warrier) 5.15. The dream state: it is of
many kinds arising from the waking state, in the form of two-moons,
shell-silver, mirage etc. The reflection by the awakened person 'this was
seen only a short time, it will not arise - Because of not seeing for long,
it is like the working state.'

तेजोबिन्दूपनिषदि। In Tejobindupanishad:

गगने नीलिमासत्ये जगत्सत्यं भविष्यति ।

शुक्तिकारजतं सत्यं भूषणं चेज्जगद्भवेत् ॥६.७६ ॥

(Translated by K. Narayanasvami Aiyar) When the blueness of the sky really
exists in it, when the silver in mother-of pearl can be used in making an
ornament, then the universe really is.

ॐ तत् सत्।


--Praveen R. Bhat
/* येनेदं सर्वं विजानाति, तं केन विजानीयात्। Through what should one know
That owing to which all this is known! [Br.Up. 4.5.15] */

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