Author Topic: Introduction  (Read 258 times)

Commentary

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Introduction
« on: April 07, 2019, 07:11:11 PM »
With the word "Aum", etc., begins the treatise, consisting of four chapters, the quintessence of the substance of the import of Vedānta. Hence no separate mention is made of the (mutual) relationship, the subject-matter and the object to be attained (Matters usually stated in an introduction to a study of any Vedàntic treatise). For, that which constitutes the relationship, the subject-matter and the object of the Vedāntic study is evident here. Nevertheless, that one desirous of explaining a Prakaraṇa (treatise), should deal with them is the opinion of the scholastic. This treatise must be said to contain a subject-matter on account of its revealing the means (for the realization of Ātman) that serves the purpose, or the end to be attained. It therefore possesses, though indirectly, ‘specific relationship’, ‘subject-matter’ and ‘the end to be attained’. What then, is that end in view? It is thus explained: As a man stricken with disease regains his normal state with the removal of (the cause of) the disease, so the self labouring under misapprehension, owing to identification of itself with misery, recovers its normal state with the cessation (of the illusion) of duality, which manifests itself as the phenomenal universe. This realization of non-duality is the end to be attained. This treatise is begun for the purpose of revealing Brahman inasmuch as by knowledge (Vidyā) the illusion of duality, caused by ignorance, is destroyed. This is established by such scriptural passages as: ‘For where there is, as it were, duality, where there exists, as it were, another, there one sees another, and one knows another. But where all this has, verily, become Ātman (for one), how should one see another, how should one know another?’

The first chapter, then, seeks, by dealing specifically with the Vedic texts, to indicate the (traditional) means to the realization of the essential nature of Ātman and is devoted to the determination of the meaning of Aum. The second chapter seeks rationally to demonstrate the unreality of duality; the illusion (duality) being destroyed, the knowledge of non-duality (becomes evident), as the cessation of the imagination of snake, etc., in the rope reveals the real nature of the rope. The third chapter is devoted to the rational demonstration of the truth of non-duality, lest it should, in like manner, be contended to be unreal. The fourth chapter is devoted to the rational refutation of the other schools of thought which are antagonistic to the truth as pointed out in the Vedas and which are opposed to the knowledge of the Advaitic Reality, by pointing out their falsity on account of their own mutual contradiction.
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