Location: India

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Sloka - 9 and 10

Hari OM,


sachchidaatmanyanusyuute nitye vishhNau prakalpitaaH .
vyaktayo vividaassarvaa haaTake kaTakaadivat.h .. 9..

Pada artha:
Sat chit aatmaani: whose nature is Existence-intelligence
Anustuyate: which is All pervading
Nitye: eternal
Vishnaav: upon Vishnu (one whose stride is largest)
Prakalpitaa: projected by imagination
Vyaktiyaha: manifested
Vividhaa: manifold
Sarvaaha: all
Haatake: out of gold
Kataka aadi vat: just as bracelets and other ornaments

All the manifested world of things and beings are projected by imagination upon the substratum which is the Eternal All-pervading Vishnu, whose nature is Existence-Intelligence; just as the different ornaments are all made out of the same gold.

In the previous verse we learnt that the world is like a bubble of water. Just as the bubbles of water emerge, sustain, burst and fall back in water, all the creations are but illusions on Brahman and Brahman is the substratum of all the names and forms. Acharya explains this further in this sloka.

For any creation to occur, there has to be three separate and fundamental causes, the material cause or the raw material from which the creation occurs, the instrumental cause which is the equipment with which the creation is done and the efficient cause or the intelligence that creates or works at the material with the instrument. For example, in case of the creation of a pot the mud is the material cause, the potter’s wheel or the stick is the instrumental cause and the potter is the efficient cause. Thus in a creation the three separate causes exist and the material is transformed into a new thing.

From the previous example we have learnt that all the creations are like bubbles of water, and the only reality is the Brahman. Thus Brahman becomes the material, and efficient cause of all the creation. Here the objects created are not different from the creator. Just like the various ornaments are but gold, i.e. Gold is the material cause of all the ornaments, the world is but a creation of the mind on Brahman. Just like the bubbles that are not different from the water, the different names and forms are but Brahman only.

Thus in case of the creation of the world, there is no actual creation happening. This is what Acharya is explaining here as all the creations are only projections of the imaginations of the substratum of Brahman. Acharya is here explaining that the duality perceived due to ignorance is nothing but the work of the mind.

We can also here note that just as how nothing happens to the gold even when the gold ring goes out of shape or is melted, so too even when there are changes in the world, the eternal reality remains the same. It is ever changeless, immutable. The names and forms associated with various ornaments seem to distinguish them from gold are changeable and are hence unreal, even when the names and forms undergo changes the gold remains the same as it is. Similarly the names and forms associated with thee different objects of the world which appear to be different from Brahman and are changeable and therefore unreal. Even when the names and forms undergo change the substratum remains as it is.

Another important thing to learn here is that the word ‘Vishnu’ means “one who pervades”. Hence it means the infinitude non dual Self alone. It is only intended to convey Brahman as that unlimited by time or space and not as anything else.

Let us learn this more in the next sloka.


Firstly thanks to Lord for the precious comments.
The basic explanation about the causes was taken from Swami Chinmayananda’s commentary of Atma Bodha for the same sloka where Gurudev explains these three causes, though not with the example of the pot. As for the example of the gold and the ornaments, it was also taken from the same commentary itself. If we extend the example to take more meaning then we may as well end up with Parinaama vaada J Hence as pointed out in the comments, by constantly remembering that all these examples are only to strengthen the conviction of the illusory nature of the world and the non dual Self as the only reality, let us proceed to the next sloka.

yathaakaashohR^ishhiikesho naanopaadhigato vibhuH .
tad.hbhedaad.hbhinnavad.hbhaati tannaashe kevalo bhavet.h .. 10..

Pada artha:
Yatha: just as
Aakaasha: space
Hrishikesha: the omnipresent truth
Nanaupaadigataha: associated with various conditionings
Vibhuhu:the all pervading
Tad bhavet: on the account of their (upadhis) manifold nature distinct from each other
Bhinnavat bhaati: appears to be diverse
Tannakaashe: on the destruction on these upadhis
Kevala: one
Bhavet: becomes

The All-pervading Akasa appears to be diverse on account of its association with various conditionings (Upadhis) which are different from each other. Space becomes one on the destruction of these limiting adjuncts: So also the Omnipresent Truth appears to be diverse on account of Its association with the various Upadhis and becomes one on the destruction of these Upadhis.

Till the previous sloka we have learnt through various examples about the illusory nature of the world. Now Acharya is explaining how the non dual Brahman who is ever free from any associations appears as various names and forms to an ignorant person. Just like how the pace is everywhere but appears to be confined in objects such as pots etc., the infinitude Self appears to be limited only due to the limiting adjuncts or the conditionings, i.e. the upadhis.

Though space is indivisible and one, yet in association with objects such as a jar or a tumbler etc. it appears to have taken different forms like, the space in jar takes the form of jar, in a cup that of a cup etc. A similar illusion of different shapes is also created in the sky when one looks at it against a line of mountains with jagged peaks. The space can never be confined but it is only due ignorance that there seems to be boundaries to the space. It is only due to ignorance that different spaces seem to be created by the boundaries while the space is ever same.

Similarly on account of its association with various upadhis, the Self appears to be limited as different names and forms. It is only due to ignorance that one assigns various attributes on the unlimited Self. As we have learnt in the first 3 slokas of Laghu vakya vritti, the Upadhis are the gross body made of flesh and blood, the subtle body consisting of the mind, intellect, ego and the senses along with vital airs, and the last is the ignorance. These are the illusory adjuncts that seem to limit the ever pure Atman. Atman can never be tainted by any associations, but it is only due to ignorance that the Self seems to be limited and thus all miseries arise due to such limitations. Only when these illusory upadhis are removed, that the eternal reality of ever blissful Self can be known. Just like the space that was never confined becomes one by removal of the walls or the boundaries that seem to limit it, the eternal reality of non-dual Self can be known only when the ignorance is removed.

Here Hrishikesha means the lord of the sense organs i.e Hrishika isha. The sense organs can perform only when the life exists in us, i.e. as long as there is existence and consciousness, hence, Hishikesha means Brahman only. Thus Acharya is explaining that upon removal of the Upadhis, like the undivided all pervading akasha, the non dual Hrishikesha or Brahman alone remains.

Hari OM

With regards,
Mallika R
What you have is God's gift to you and what you do with what you have is your gift to God


Blogger vedanta said...


Prostrations to all.

Nyaaya system accepts the three different causes for effect as material cause, efficient cause and instrumental cause. But Vedanta doesn't accept three causes - instead it accepts only the upaadana (material) and nimitta (efficient) cause.

The example Mallika has quoted of pot created from mud has the three causes mentioned but for creation of the world from Brahman cannot have the three causes as such --- instead it can only have the material cause of Maya or Prakrithi & efficient cause of Ishwara......

BTW, even the Nyaaya system considers the instrumental cause as something supportive and not really having any specific impact in the creation process.

It is good if we remember the above point that Vedanta accepts only upaadana and nimitta kaarana as main kaaranas.

Mallika, can you please provide the source (if any) from which this explanation of three causes was taken???

Upanishads (to be specific Chandogya Upanishad in the famous svetakethu brahmana) speaks about creation as mere names and forms of the ultimate reality of Brahman even as ornaments are names & forms of Gold.... As we have learned previously that in an analogy, we shouldn't extend it beyond what it is used to serve......

Here the analogy is to show that names and forms are mere illusions -- and there is no gold ornaments but gold alone exists, similarly the names and forms found in the world are illusions whereas reality is Brahman alone.

Instead if we try to extend this to say that "We can also here note that just as how nothing happens to the gold even when the gold ring goes out of shape or is melted" --- then we are overusing the analogy...... This particular point is not used in the analogy & for good reason alone :-)...... This particular explanation has faults in it ---- main fault being that gold cannot be compared with Brahman --- gold can be cut into pieces whereas Brahman cannot be -- gold has parts whereas Brahman doesn't have --- if we take this explanation of "nothing happening to gold", these faults easily creep in........ Also when the shape of gold ring changes or it is melted, we all know that some part of Gold falls off (the quality of gold very well decays) and hence we cannot say that gold remains changeless.


Prostrations to all.


Let a moment not pass by without remembering God

8:22 PM  

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