Author Topic: CHAPTER 2  (Read 452 times)


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« on: April 07, 2019, 05:14:18 PM »
2.1 Fearing that the disciple, to whom has been brought home the conviction, 'You are the Self, which is opposed to the acceptable and, the unacceptable, and which is Brahman', may jump to the conclusion, 'I know myself well enough that I, indeed, am Brahman', the teacher, with a view to dispelling that notion of the disciple, says, 'If you think,' etc.

Objection: Is not such a firm conviction as, 'I know well enough', desirable?
Answer: True, a firm conviction is desirable but not such a one as, 'I know It well enough.' That knowable thing alone that falls within the range of cognition can be known thoroughly, just as an inflammable substance becomes consumable to a fire that burns it, but not so the essence itself of the fire. The well-ascertained purport of all the Upanisads is that the personal Self of each knower is Brahman. Here, too, the same fact has been established in the form of an answer to questions, in the text beginning with, 'That which is the Ear of the ear' etc. (1.2); and the same has been specifically affirmed in the text, 'That which is not uttered by speech' (I. 5). Besides, the positive conclusion of the (traditional) line of knowers of Brahman has been adduced in the text: 'That is surely different from the known; and again, It is above the unknown' (I. 4). And the topic will be concluded thus: 'It is unknown to those who know well, and known to those who do not know' (II. 3). Hence it is proper to dispel the disciple's notion: 'I know well enough.' For the knower cannot be known by the knower, just as fire cannot be consumed by the consuming fire; and there is no other knower different from Brahman to whom Brahman can become a seperate knowable. A separate knower is denied by the Vedic text: 'There is no other knower but this' (Br. III. viii. 11). Therefore the conviction, 'I know Brahman well
enough', is certainly false. Hence the teacher has justifiably said, 'If you think,' etc.

Yadi, if perchance; manyase, you think; su veda iti, 'I know Brahman well enough.' Although the entity may be inscrutable, yet some one who is possessed of real wisdom and who is free from defects, may at some time comprehend It as it was heard of, whereas some one else may not; hence the teacher says with hesitation, 'If you think,' etc. And it has been noticed that when it was declared, ' "The person that is perceived in the eye-is this Self'", so said he (Prajapati). "This is immortal, fearless-this is Brahman"' (Ch. VIII. vii. 4), Virocana, though he was a son of Prajapati, and a scholar, and a king of the demons, still, owing to his natural defects, understood contary to what was taught, an opposite object, viz the body, to be the Self. Similarly,, Indra, the king of the gods, who could not comprehend when instructed once, twice, and thrice, did, at the fourth stage, when his natural defects had been removed, realize the same Brahman that was spoken of at the very initial stage (Ch. VIII. vii-xii). In ordinary life also it is seen that, of the disciples hearing from the same teacher, some one understands accurately, some one inaccurately, some one contrarily, and some one nothing at all. What more need one speak with regard to (the knowledge of) the real nature of the Self which is beyond the senses? In this matter, indeed, all dialecticians, whether they believe in (the) existence or non-existence (of the Self), have got their misconceptions. Therefore though the statement, 'Brahman has been realized', has been made with firm conviction, still the teacher's apprehensive remark, 'If you think,' etc., is quite appropriate in view of the comprehension being difficult. Tvam, you; vettha, know; nunam, certainly; daharam [A different reading is dabhram, having the same sense.] rupam eva api, the very little from (i.e. expression), brahmanah, of Brahman.

Objection: Are there many forms of Brahman, great and small, because of which it is said, 'very little form' etc.?
Answer: Quite so, Many, indeed, are the aspects of Brahman created by the adjuncts of name and form, but not naturally. From Its own standpoint, forms, together with words are denied thus: 'That which is without sound, touch, form, and destruction; likewise tasteless, eternal and odourless' (Ka.I. iii. 15; Nr. 9; Muk.II. 72).

Objection: Is it not a fact that the very attribute by which a thing is determined is its own nature? Therefore that very distinctive feature by which Brahman is defined must be Its nature. Hence it is argued that since consciousness cannot be an attribute of any one of (the elements), earth etc., nor can it be of all of them in their transformation (as body), and as it is not an attribute of either of (the senses such as) the ear etc., or of the internal organ (mind), therefore it is a feature of Brahman; and thus is Brahman defined by consciousness. Thus it has been said, 'Knowledge, Bliss, Brahman' (Br. III. ix. 28. 7), 'Pure intelligence only' (Br. II. iv. 12), 'Brahman is Truth, Knowledge, Infinite' (Tai. II. i. 1), 'Brahman is consciousness' (Ai. V. 3)-thus, too, is the feature of Brahman determined in the Vedic texts.
Answer: Truly this is so. But even so, that aspect is indicated by such words as consciousness, not from the instrinsic point of view, but merely with reference to the limiting adjuncts-mind, body, and senses-, because of Its correspondence with those things, in accordance as the body etc. undergo expansion, contraction, disruption, destruction, etc. But in reality, the conclusion will be: 'unknown to those who know well, and known to those who do not know' (II.3).

The expression, yat, asya, should be construed with the preceding expression, brahmanah rupam (the aspect of Brahman), (meaning thereby: that form of Brahman which ....). Not only do you know very little of the expression of that Brahman that is conditioned by the human personality, but the expression of Brahman as conditioned by divine adjuncts, which you devesu vettha, know among the gods, that too, as known to you, is very little indeed.
This is how I think. Whether the expression be in the human personality or whether it be among the gods, it does not become freed from insignificance, since it is conditioned by adjuncts. The purport is that the Brahman, that is free from all distinctions, that is one without a second, and that is known as Bhuma (great) and eternal, cannot be known as a fully comprehended object. Since this is so, atha, nu, therefore; manye, I think; te, for you; even now, Brahman is mimamsyam eva, certainly to be deliberated on. The disciple having been told so by the teacher, sat in solitude with his mind concentrated, deliberated on the traditional teaching as imparted by the teacher together with its purport, ascertained it by a process of reasoning, made it a matter of personal, experience, approached the teacher, and said 'Now manye, I think; (Brahman) is viditam, known.'

(Teacher):'How (is Brahman known to you)?' (Disciple) : 'Listen!'-

2.2 Na aham manye suveda iti, I do not think, 'I know Brahman well enough.' Being told (by the teacher), 'Then Brahman is not certainly known by you', (the disciple) replies, 'No na veda iti, veda ca, not that I do not know Brahman: and I know, too.' Form the use of the word ca, (and) in the expression veda ca, we are to understand, 'Na veda ca, and I do not know, as well.'
(Teacher): It is not contradictory (to say), 'I do not think, "I know (Brahman) well enough,",' and 'Not that I do not know; I know and I do not know as well'? If you do not consider, 'I know well enough', then how can you consider, 'I know too'? Again if you consider, 'I do not know', then why do you not consider, 'I know well enough'? Leaving out of consideration doubt and false knowledge, it is a contradiction to say that the very same thing which is known by a man is not known well enough by him. Nor can a restrictive rule be laid down to the effect that Brahman is to be known as an object of doubt or false knowledge. For doubt and false knowledge are, indeed, everywhere known to be the causes of harm. Though the disciple was thus given a shaking by the teacher, he remained unmoved. Moreover, revealing his own firm conviction in the knowledge of Brahman, he boldly declared with the strength derived from the traditional knowledge as imparted by the teacher in the sentece, 'It is different from the known and is also above the unknown', as also from the strength derived from reasoning and (personal) realization. How (did he declare)? That is being said; 'Yah, anyone who; nah, among us, among my co-disciples; veda, knows in reality; tat, that, that sentence uttered (by me); he veda, knows; tat, that Brahman.' (Teacher): 'What again is your assertion?' To this the answers: 'No na veda iti veda ca, not that I do not know; I know and I do not know as well.' With a view to showing his concurrence with the idea of the teacher and counteracting the comprehension of people of dull intellect, the disciple repeated with conviction in another language, viz 'Not that I do not know; I know and I do not know as well', the very same thing which was presented in the sentence, 'It is different from the known and it is above the unknown'; and in doing so, he associated with this his own inference and realization. Thus the exclamation, 'He among us who understands that utterance knows that (Brahman)', becomes justifiable. Stepping aside from the dialogue between the teacher and the taught, the Upanisad, speaking for itself, presents in these words yasyamatam etc., the whole of the conclusion arrived at through the dialogue:

2.3 To that knower of Brahman, yasya, to whom; (It is) amatam, unknown-whose view, conviction, is that Brahman is not known; tasya, to him; matam, is known, Brahman is fully known-that is the meaning. Again, yasya, he to whom; (It is) matam, known- he who has the conviction, 'Brahman is known to me'; sah, he; na veda, does not know, to be sure; he does not know Brahman. The two views of the man of knowledge and the man of ignorance, which are thus presented, are being distinctly affirmed (in the second line), avijnatam vijanatam etc. Avijnatam, not known; Brahman is in fact unknown to vijanatam, to the people who know-that is to say, to those who have fully realized. Brahman is vijnatam, known; avijanatam, to those who do not know, to those who have not full realization-that is to say, to those who identify the Self merely with the senses, the mind, and the intellect, but not to those whose intelligence is extremely primitive, (these latter being left out of consideration), for the latter do not have the consciousness, 'Brahman is known by us'. The error involved in the idea, 'Brahman is known by us'. The error involved in the idea, 'Brahman is known to us', is possible for those, however, who, by reason of nondiscrimination between Brahman and the limiting adjuncts, and because of their familiarity with the limiting adjuncts such as the intellect, consider the senses, the mind and the intellect as the Self. Hence the incomplete knowledge is presented as a view to be refuted in the text, 'known to those who do not know'. Or the latter half (of the verse viz) avijnatam etc., is adduced as a reason (for the first half). ['Just as is common experience it is well known that to the people, aware of the nature of the mother of pearl, the silver superimposed on it remains unknown (on that mother of pearl), but to the ignorant alone, the superimposed silver is known (as silver), similarly, knowableness being a thing superimposed on Brahman, the men of realization do not consider that Brahman as known.'-A.G.]
It has been ascertained that Brahman is unknown to those who know. If Brahman be wholly unknown, then there remains no distinction between the ordinary people and the knowers of Brahman. Besides, the statement, 'unknown to those who know', is self contradictory. How then can Brahman be known adequately? To explain this the Upanisad says:

2.4 Pratibodha-viditam, known with reference to each state of intelligence. By the word bodha are meant the cognitions acquired through the intellect. The Self, that encompasses all ideas as Its objects, is known in relation to all these ideas. Being the witness of all cognitions, and by nature nothing but the power of Consciousness, the Self is indicated by the cognitions themselves, in the midst of cognitions, as pervading (all of) them. There is no other door to Its awareness. Therefore when Brhman is known as the innermost Self (i.e. witness) of cognitions, then is It matam, known, that is to say, then there is Its complete realization. Only by accepting Brahman as the witness of all congnitions can it be established that It is by nature a witness that is not subject to growth and decay, and is eternal, pure in essence, the Self, unconditioned, and one in all beings, ['Since the reality of my consciousness, by virtue of which I am the witness, exists equally in all, I am not a mere witness in a single body. And since difference, origination, etc; do not inhere in the witness, therefore the non-duality, eternality, etc. of the witness are also established.'-A.G.] just as it is in the case of akasa (space), because of the nondifference of its characteristics despite its existence in pots, caves, etc. The purport of that very traditional text, 'It is different from the known, and again It is above the unknown' (I. 4), which is thus clarified, is concluded here. For (in support of this) there is the other Vedic text: 'The Witness of vision, the Hearer of hearing, the Thinker of thought, the Knower of knowledge' (Br. III. iv. 2).
Again, if the explanation of pratibodhaviditam be, 'The Self being the agent of the act of knowing, one infers It to be agent of the action from the fact of the cognitive act itself, just as one knows that to be the wind which moves a tree', then the Self is a substance possessed of the power of knowing, but It is not knowledge itself; and as for knowledge, it originates and dies; when knowledge originates, the Self becomes modiified by it; and when knowledge dies, the Self becomes nothing but an unmodified substance with its intelligence destroyed. In such a case, one cannot avoid the objection that the Self (thereby) becomes changeable, composed of parts, non-eternal, impure, etc.
As for the (following) view of the school of Kanada, 'Knowledge, arising from the contact of the soul and the mind, inheres in the soul; hence is the sould endowed with knowership. But it is not changeable; it is merely a substance just like a pot in which colour inheres'-since according to this veiw, too, Brahman is a mere substance without consciousness, it contradicts such Vedic text as, 'Knowledge, Bliss, Brahman' (Br. III. ix. 28.7), 'Brahman is Consciousness' (Ai. V. 3). And as the soul is partless and hence has no locality in it, and as the mind is ever in contact with it, the consequent illogicality of admitting any law regarding the origination of memory becomes insurmountable. Besides, one has to imagine that the Self can have the attribute of coming in contact with others, which idea is repugnant to the Vedas and the Smrtis; for such are the two Vedic and Smrti texts: 'Unattached, for It is never attched' (Br. III. ix. 26), 'It is unconnected, and is the supporter of all' (G. XIII. 14). Moreover, since logic demands that a thing that has attributes, and is not of a different category, can come into contact with another having attributes, therefore it is illogical to hold that the Self which is attributeless, undifferentiated, and distinct from everything else, can come into contact with anything whatsoever that does not belong to the same category. Hence if the Self is the witness of all cognitions, then and not otherwise is established the idea that the Self, which is an effulgence that is in reality enternal and undecaying knowledge, in Brahman. Therefore the expression pratibodha-viditam has the meaning as explained by us.

As for the explanation, 'The expression, pratibodha-viditam means that the Self is known to oneself, it is possible where difference is imagined in a context in which the Self appears as a conditioned thing through identification with the limiting adjunct, intellect, so as to have such apparent activities as knowing the Self by the self (referred to in the texts) : 'Sees the Self in his own self.' (Br. IV. iv.23), 'O Purusottama (lit. Supreme Purusa, i.e. Being), you yourself know your Self through the self (G. X. 15). But in a context where the unconditioned Self is one, there can neither be knowing by oneself nor by another. Besides, It being by nature Consciousness Itself, there can be no dependence on another consciousness, just as a light does not depend on another light.
If the fact of being known to oneself is held in accordance with the Buddhist theory, then knowledge becomes momentary and is left without a Self (Reality); and this will contradict such Vedic texts as: 'For the knower's function of knowing can never be lost, because it is immortal'. (Br. IV. iii. 30), 'Eternal, multiformed, all-pervading' (Mu. I. i. 6), 'That great birthless Self is undecaying, immortal, undying, fearless' (Br. IV. iv. 25).

Others, again, imagine that by the word pratibodha is meant the uncaused knowledge as in the case of a sleeping man; according to still others, pratibodha is the knowledge that flashes but once. ['Once the unchanging Self is realized, there can no more be any knowership and therefore, no possibility of furthor knowledge. Hence the knowledge that flashes but once and becomes the cause of immediate emancipation is called pratibodha,'-A.G.] (To this we say): Whether it be caused or uncaused, and whether it flashes once or twice, it is pratibodha to be sure.
Hi, becasue; vindate, (one) attains; amrtatvam, immortality, existence in one's own Self, emancipation- by virtue of the aforesaid pradibodha, i.e. from the knowledge of the Self as appearing with reference to (i.e. as the witness of) each state of consciousness, therefore, the idea is that the Self is truly known when It is known along with each state of consciousness. Besides, consciousness, as having the indwelling Self as its content, is alone held to be the cause of immortality. Immortality does not surely consist in the Self becoming a non-Self. Immortality being the very nature of the Self, it is certainly without any cause. And thus mortality consists in the Self being perceived as the non-Self through ignornace.

How, again, is immortality attained through the aforesaid knowledge of the Self? This is being answered. Atmana, through one,s own Self; vindate, (one) attains; viryam, strength, capacity. The strength got from wealth, friend, incantation, medicine, asuterity, or Yoga cannot conquer death, for it is produced by impermanent things. But the strength, consequent on the knowledge of the Self, is acquired through the Self alone and not through anything else. Thus, since the strength resulting from the knowledge of the Self is independent of any means of acquistion, that strength alone is able to conquer death. Since the strength produced by the knowledge of the Self is thus attained through the Self, therefore, vidyaya, through knowledge about the Self; (one) vindate, attains; amrtam, immortality. In the Upanisad of the Atharva Veda it is said, 'This Self is not attained by one who has no strength (resulting from steadfastness in the Self)' (Mu. III. ii.4). Therefore the statement of the reason, 'because thereby one attains immortality', is quite appropriate.
Pitiable, indeed, it is to suffer through ignorance, birth, old age, death, disease, etc., among multitudce, birth, old age, death, disease, etc., among multitudes of beings such as gods, men, animals, ghosts, etc., in whom there is an abundance of misery natural to transmigratory existenc. Therefore,

2.5 Cet, if- a man having scriptural sanction and ability; avedit, has known-the Self as defined and in the manner already explained; iha, here, indeed; atha, then; asti satyam, there is truth, there subsist in this human birth the values consisting in long life, wealth, and holiness, ['This is said by way of eulogy. (The idea is that) even worldly reality (or value), comprising long life (avinasa), wealth (Arthavatta), holiness (sadbhava), and fame, comes to the knower of Brahman (as a by-product). In reality, the result consisting in being established in Brahman follows as a necessary consequence.' -A.G.] or supreme reality. Iha, here, even while living, cet, if; a competent man na avedit, has not realized; then there is mahati, great interminable; vinastih, destruction, transmigratory existenc consisting in non-cessation of a continuous succession of birth, old age, death, etc. Therefore the dhirah, wise, Brahmanas (the knowers of Brahman), who are thus familiar with merits and demerits; vicitya, having known, realized, the one reality on the Self; bhutesu bhutesu, in all beings, moving and unmoving; pretya, turning away, desisting; asmat lokat, from this world of ignorance-the world consisting of 'I am mine'- i.e. having attained the non-dual state consisting in beoming identified with the Self of all; amrtah bhavanti, become immortal, become Brahman indeed- this is idea; as it has been said in the Vedic text: 'He who knows that supreme Brahman becomes Brahman indeed' (Mu. III. ii. 9).
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