[Advaita-l] Tattvabodha of Adi Sankaracharya - 30
sjayana at yahoo.com
Sun Feb 21 16:18:55 EST 2021
(Continued from previous post)
Tattva Bodha of Adi Sankaracharya - A Vedantic Primer: Part 2 (contd.)
(Lecture Notes compiled by Venkat Ganesan from the series of
SVBF Lectures given by Dr. S. YEGNASUBRAMANIAN)
The discussion on creation (srusTi-prakaraNam) was concluded in the last article of this series
(Paramaartha Tattvam Issues 4.3 & 4.4). We will continue with the discussion of Isvara in this
4. Analysis of identity between Isvara and jiva
This section is the central theme and conveys
the knowledge of the Self. The author brings
the def initions of Isvara and jiva and lists the
differences between them first.
sthUlasharIrAbhimAnI jIvanAmakaM brahmapratibimbaM bhavati .
The reflection of caitanyam which identifies itself
with the gross body is called jiva.
sa eva jIvaH prakR^ityA svasmAt IshvaraM bhinnatvena jAnAti .
This jiva, by its nature of avidyA (ignorance),
assumes that the Isvara is different from him/her-
avidyopAdhiH san AtmA jIva ityuchyate .
The Consciousness (AtmA), conditioned by the
upAdhi (medium) of avidyA is jiva.
mAyopAdhiH san Ishvara ityuchyate .
The Consciousness (AtmA) conditioned by mAyA
is called Isvara.
It has been explained already on Srushti
Prakaranam that Isvara is a combination of
Brahma or pure Consciousness and mAyA. MAyA
is responsible for the creation of the total
universe of all bodies and beings - the sthUla
and sUkshma Sareeras. But, we have seen that
the cause for these two Sareeras is kAraNa
Sareeram, the causal body. Then the question
arises, as to which is the actual cause, the causal
body or maayaa? But we also know that kAraNa
Sareeram is part of mAya only! So, that part of
mAyA from which the sthUla, sUkshma Sareeras
are formed, is known as causal body, which is
given a technical name here, as avidyA, which is
anaadi, as also mAyA. Jiva is an individual who
identifies himself/herself with the gross body.
This type of identification is also natural for the
individual (as mAyA is anaadi). MayA is of three
attributes - trigunAtmikA , in nature - sattva, rajas
and tamas. This sattva guna can be pure, meaning
unsullied by rajas and tamas, or can be impure -
malina sattvam which has some control by the
rajas and tamas aspects. It is said that the sattva
guNa used in creation is only malinasattvam,
because, sattva stands for knowledge and all
individuals have only limited, imperfect
knowledge! In other words, malina-sattva-
pradhAna-mAyA is responsible for the creation
of the jiva. In the same way, the other aspect of
mAyA is Suddha-sattva-paradhAna. Here also rajas
and tamas aspects exist, but without any effect.
But both the mAyA's are inert only in nature.
But, we as living entities have consciousness and
where does that come from? Here only, the
author brings the concept of Brahma, which is
the all-pervading Consciousness, which gets
manifested or reflected in the jiva - which is
given in the sloka as brahmapratibiMbaM reflected in avidyA.
For the sake of our discussion we will use avidyA
as impure mAyA and mAyA as pure mAyA.
Consciousness reflected in avidyA, is called jiva.
So the jiva has the problem of ignorance - that
is, the jiva does not know that he/she is caitanyam
and identifies with the Sareeras, because, the
sattva guNa is malinasattvam. However, isvara
has no such problem, because it is Suddhasattva-
pradhAna. So, Isvara is sarvajna:, sarvaSaktimAn
etc., while the jiva is alpajna, alpaSaktimAn etc.
However, the difference between jiva and Isvara
is not original, because both are Consciousness,
but it is only the reflecting medium - for
example, the same object appears clear in a pure
mirror, but appears dirty in a dirty mirror. The
reflecting medium or Upadhi, essentially, is the
cause for the difference. Author defines Isvara
as the pure Caitanyam (Sarvagata Caitanyam or
Bimba Chaitanyam), which is of Sat-Cit-Ananda
svarupa and a reflecting medium. The reflecting
medium or Upadhi here is the mAyA or the factor
a ssociaf ed with Isvara - the Suddha-sattva-
pradhAna-mAyA. The jiva is composed of the
pratibimba caitanyam or the manifested form of
bimba caitanyam and a reflecting medium, which
is avidyA. To put it in a concise form,
Isvara => Reflected Consciousness + mAyA medium
Jiva => Reflected Consciousness + avidyA medium
Isvara - mAyA => Brahman
jivA - avidyA => Brahman
So, without the medium - upaadhi - the jiva
and isvara are identical and so is referred here
(Continued in next post)
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