[Advaita-l] A profound Advaitic crisp expression by Shankara

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed Jun 20 02:27:16 EDT 2018

A profound Advaitic crisp expression by Shankara

In the Bh.Gita 2.10 commentary, Shankara says:

यस्य तु अज्ञानात् रागादिदोषतो कर्मणि प्रवृत्तस्य यज्ञेन दानेन तपसा वा
विशुद्धसत्त्वस्य ज्ञानमुत्पन्नम्परमार्थतत्त्वविषयम् *‘*
*एकमेवेदं सर्वं ब्रह्म अकर्तृ च**’* इति, तस्य कर्मणि कर्मप्रयोजने च
निवृत्तेऽपि लोकसङ्ग्रहार्थं यत्नपूर्वं यथा प्रवृत्तिः,

But in the case of a man who had engaged himself in rites and duties
because of ignorance and defects like the attachment, and then got his mind
purified through sacrifices, charities or austerities (see Br. 4.4.22),
there arises the knowledge about the supreme Reality that all this is but
One, and Brahman is not an agent (of any action). With regard to him,
although there is a cessation of rites and duties as also of the need for
them, yet, what may, appear as his diligent continuance, just as before, in
those rites and duties for setting an example before people ...

In the above passage Shankara brings out the nature, prakaara, of
realization of an aspirant who has walked the path of Vedanta that does not
belittle but lays supreme emphasis on the devout performance of vihita
karma in the form of karma yoga, dedicating them to Ishwara.  To him
because of such karma yoga the mind is extremely purified and the Vedanta
Vichara gives rise to the realization of Brahman.  What is the form/content
of this realization?  Shankara says: 'Ekam eva idam sarvam, Brahma
akartru.'  This means: All this experienced world is One only and Brahman
is not the doer of any action. There are several shruti / smruti passages
embedded in this profound statement of Shankara:

एकमेव अद्वितीयम्, इदं सर्वम् यत् अयमात्मा, आत्मैवेदम् सर्वम्, ब्रह्मैवेदं
सर्वम्, प्रज्ञानं ब्रह्म, सर्वं खल्विदं ब्रह्म,  ब्रह्मैवेदममृतं
पुरस्ताद्ब्रह्म पश्चाद्ब्रह्म दक्षिणतश्चोत्तरेण । अधश्चोर्ध्वं च प्रसृतं
ब्रह्मैवेदं विश्वमिदं वरिष्ठम् ॥ 2.2.12 of Mundaka,  मत्तः परतरं
नान्यत्किञ्चिदस्ति धनञ्जय । मयि सर्वमिदं प्रोतं सूत्रे मणिगणा इव ॥ ७ ॥ of
Bhagavadgita 7.6.    *सकलमिदमहं च* *वासुदेवः* *परमपुमान्*परमेश्वरः स एकः ।
इति मतिरचला भवत्यनन्ते हृदयगते व्रज तान्विहाय दूरात् ॥ विष्णुपुराणम् 3.7.32
The above are only representative; there are countless such passages to
show that everything is Brahman.

Shankara's statement also has the jiva-component which is  *ब्रह्म अकर्तृ*
Brahman is not a doer of any action. The shruti passages are निष्क्रियं
निष्कलं ब्रह्म..,   न कर्तृत्वं न कर्माणि लोकस्य सृजति प्रभुः । न
कर्मफलसंयोगं स्वभावस्तु प्रवर्तते ॥ १४ ॥ Bh.gita 5.14. There are many more.
In this component it is clear that since the previous component
*एकमेवेदं स*   the jiva too is included in 'sarvam', it follows that he is
also Brahman and since Brahman is nishkriyam, the jiva too is really not
kartr of any action.  What appears to be his action is only maya's
gymnastics. There are several passages for this too.

Thus, the above short crisp statement of Shankara is very effective for
contemplation. It comprises of Tat and Tvam pada viveka and aikya. It
encompasses enquiry of jiva, jagat and jagadishvara and comes out with the
tattva of all three: Brahman. Jiva is Brahman, jagat is Brahman and Ishwara
is Brahman.
Om Tat Sat

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