[Advaita-l] Sankara in BU 4.3 says Turiya is Supreme State (Was Re: Sleep, tamas and brahman)

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Wed May 2 02:51:44 EDT 2018

Very true. That the ultimate import of all the upaniShads is the one
Brahman has been pointed to by BhagavAn sUtrakAra himself in places like
तत्तु समन्वयात्.

If the one Brahman is the ultimate teaching of all the upaniShads, the veda
cannot describe it in contradictory ways. Any interpretation should
reconcile the contradiction, without sacrificing the pramANatva of any
portion of the veda.

In mImAmsa, there is a rule that when describing a particular activity, if
there are two vedic sentences that seemingly contradict each other, then
they are to be treated as options, vikalpas. For example, there are two
statements अतिरात्रे षोडशिनं गृह्णाति' 'नातिरात्रे षोडशिनं गृह्णाति' in the
veda - in the atirAtra sacrifice, a vessel called the shodashi should be
used / should not be used. This raises a doubt - should it be used, or
should it not be used? If any one of the two is said to be the only correct
option, it would negate the other - the veda would be teaching the wrong
thing there. Therefore, to save the pramANatva of the veda, it is said that
these two sentences can be interpreted as a choice - one may use the
shoDashi or many not - it is up to the individual.

However, this rule cannot be applied when describing a thing, such as
Brahman. One cannot simply say that two upaniShads say contradictory things
about Brahman and both be true. When describing a thing contradictorily,
onle of them must be true. Either something is this, or that. It cannot be
both, neither is it up to the individual to choose which is correct. On the
other hand, one cannot allow one sentence in the veda to contradict another
(for that would hurt the pramANatva of the veda). Therefore any
interpretation must reconcile the seemingly different ways of describing

That is why in advaita, when the mANDUkya says that Brahman is not prajna,
and the BrihadAraNyaka says it is available during sleep, it is held that
while Brahman is available in all states, but ultimately it is beyond them
- thus reconciling the (seemingly) contradictory teachings.


On Wed, 2 May 2018, 05:30 Praveen R. Bhat via Advaita-l, <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Namaste Subbuji,
> On Wed, May 2, 2018 at 7:28 AM V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l <
> advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> > During the discussion when Kalyan ji said that the two Upanishads, BU and
> > Mandukya have different teachings, the former holding deep sleep itself
> as
> > the highest (liberated state) and the latter showing the Turiya as beyond
> > the three states,
> >
> ​The तात्पर्य of the entire Shruti ​being one is lost on many and it takes
> a long time for anyone to get such तात्पर्यनिश्चय even after having
> पुरुषार्थनिश्चय। Hence, Bhagavan Bhashyakara clarifies under Brahmasutra
> 1.4.14 in the context of one perceived conflict so:
>> यथाभूतो ह्येकस्मिन्वेदान्ते सर्वज्ञः सर्वेश्वरःसर्वात्मैकोऽद्वितीयः
> कारणत्वेन व्यपदिष्टः, तथाभूत एव वेदान्तान्तरेष्वपि व्यपदिश्यते ;
> There cannot be clearer words for Advaitins in any case.
> gurupAdukAbhyAm,
> --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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