Location: India

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Sloka 59 and 60

Hari OM,

tadyuktamakhilaM vastu vyavahaarastadanvitaH .
tasmaatsarvagataM brahma kshiire sarpirivaakhile .. 59..

Pada artha:
Tadyuktam: pervaded by that(Brahman)
Akhilam: all
Vasthu: objects
Vyavahaaraha: actions
Tad avanthihi: are possible because of that
Tasmaat: therefore
Sarva gatam: permeating everything
Brahma: the Brahman
Ksheera: in the milk
Sarpihi: butter
Iva: like
Akhile: in everything

All objects are pervaded by Brahman. All actions are possible because of Brahman: therefore Brahman permeates everything as butter permeates milk.

Acharya is here pointing to the all pervading Brahman by giving the example of the butter in the milk. Brahman is but consciousness and everything that exists is but consciousness. Hence all the objects, world that is perceived exists only because of consciousness and in the consciousness. Hence it is Brahman i.e. consciousness alone that exists and pervades all the illusory objects of the world. All the actions are hence possible only because of this consciousness.

Acharya here gives the example of butter and milk. Butter permeates through the milk although it is not seen directly. Nor can we separate a part of milk as devoid of butter, similarly, all the objects are permeated by Brahman. Upanishads proclaim that just as how milk pervading butter is extracted by churning, so also the Atman has to be separated from the world of names and forms by intense meditation and Self knowledge.

Amrita Bindu Upanishad gives this same example in sloka 20 as:
dhR^itamiva payasi niguuDhaM bhuute bhuute cha vasati viGYaanam.h
.satataM manasi manthayitavyaM manu manthaanabhuutena .. 20..

Like the butter hidden in milk, the Pure Consciousness resides in every being. That ought to be constantly churned out by the churning rod of the mind.

Shvetaashvatara Upanishad also explains the same in 1.15 as:
tileshhu taila.n dadhiniiva sarpi\-
raapaH srotaHsvaraNiishhu chaagniH .
evamaatmaa.atmani gR^ihyate.asau
satyenaina.n tapasaayo.anupashyati .. 15..

As oil in sesame seeds, as butter in curds, as water in underground springs, as fire in wood, even so this Self is perceived in the self. He who, by means of truthfulness, self-control and concentration, looks again and again for this Self, which is all-pervading like butter contained in milk, and which is rooted in self-knowledge and meditation – he becomes that Supreme Brahman, the destroyer of ignorance.

anaNvasthuulamarhasvamadiirghamajamavyayam.h .
aruupaguNavarNaakhyaM tad.hbrahmetyavadhaarayet.h .. 60..

Pada artha:
Ananu: neither subtle
Asthulam: nor gross
Ahvstham: neither short
Adheergham: nor long
Ajam: without birth
Avyayam: without change
Aroopa guna varna aakhyaam: without form, qualities, color and name
Tadbrahma: that to be Brahman
Ithi: thus
Avadharayet: realise

Realise that to be Brahman which is neither subtle nor gross: neither short nor long: without birth or change: without form, qualities, colour and name.

In the last sloka we learnt that Brahman is the substratum of all objects and pervades everywhere, here in this sloka, Acharya is explaining further that the all pervading Brahman is neither gross nor subtle and cannot possess any qualities. Brahman can never be an object of any actions as it is verily the subject. Hence there can be neither birth nor any of the six changes. There can also be no name that can be given to that which permeates everything. Such limitless, Brahman which is devoid of any qualities is described here.

Gross, subtle, shapes, sizes, names and all such qualities can exist only for an object which is limited, i.e. we can point out as ‘this’ or ‘that’ to only that which is boundaries and is limited by space and time. But Brahman, as we have learnt is that which is the substratum of everything.

I.e. everything is in Brahman, and everything is permeated by Brahman, it hence can never be classified as gross nor subtle nor by any name. It is never the object of perception of any feelings or thoughts but verily the perceiver. It is THAT which exists and hence all that exits.

Hence the limitless Brahman is indescribable to any limited intellect. Acharya is describing this infinity to us by negation method. These terms are not the description of Brahman but only indicate to the Brahman.

The same explanation can also be found in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 3.8.8 as:

etad vai tad ak.aram, g.rgi, br.hma.. abhivadanti, asth.lam, ana.u,
ahrasvam, adirgham, alohitam, asneham, acch.yam, atama., av.yv an.k.śam,
asa.gam, arasam, agandham, acak.u.kam, aśrotram, av.k, amana., atejaskam,, amukham, am.tram, anantaram, ab.hyam; na tad aśn.ti ki. cana, na tad
aśn.ti kaś cana.

O Gargi, the knowers of Brahman say, this Immutable (Brahman) is that. It is neither gross nor minute, neither short nor long, neither red colour nor oiliness, neither shadow nor darkness, neither air nor ether, unattached, neither savor nor odor, without eyes or ears, without the vocal organ or mind, non-luminous, without the vital force or mouth, not a measure, and without interior or exterior. It does not eat anything, nor is It eaten by anybody.

Acharya here is explaining that such a Brahman devoid of qualities is to be realized as Self. As the Katha Upanishad 1.3.15 also proclaims:

anaadyanantaM mahataH paraM dhruvaM
nichaayya tanmR^ityumukhaat.h pramuchyate .. 15..

By knowing that which is soundless, touchless, formless, undecaying, so also tasteless, eternal, odourless, beginning less, endless, subtler than Mahat and constant, man is liberated from the jaws of death.

Let us learn more in the next slokas.

And also, Happy Christmas to all J
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


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