Author Topic: CHAPTER 2 - SECTION 7  (Read 237 times)


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« on: April 09, 2019, 10:52:01 PM »
2.7.1 Asat vai idam agre asit, in the beginning all this was but the unmanifested (Brahman). By the word "asat" is meant the unmanifested state of Brahman as contrasted with the state in which distinctions of name and form become manifested. Not that absolute non-existence (the root meaning of the word, asat) is meant, for the existent cannot come out of the non-existent. Idam, this standing for the manifested world possessed of the distinctions of name and form; agre, in the beginning-before creation; asit asat, was but Brahman that could be called asat. Tatah, from that-from that Unmanifested; vai, indeed; sat, that which is distinguished by manifested name and form; ajayata, was born. Is the effect entirely separate from that (cause), just as a son is from the father? The answer is being given negatively: Tat, that which is called the Unmanifested (Brahman); svayam, Itself; akuruta, created; atmanam, Itself. Since this is so, tasmat, therefore; tat, that Brahman Itself; ucyate, is called. the sukrtam, self-creator. [Sukrtam (standing for svakrta) should mean 'self-created'. But Sankara takes it as a Vedic licence for 'self-creator'.-A.G.] By virtue of being the cause of everything, Brahman is well recognized in this world as the self-creator. Or, since Brahman Itself created everything by virtue of Its being everything, therefore that very Brahman, which is the cause from the standpoint of virtue as well, is called sukrta (merit). [Sukra (lit. well-done) means merit, which is one of the causes of creation.] At all events, whether the meaning of sukrta be 'merit' or it be the other one (self-creator), that cause which brings (one) into association etc. with a result is familiarly known in the world as sukrta. That well known fact is possibly only if there is an eternal consciousness acting as the cause. Hence, from the well known fact of sukrta, it follows that Brahman exists.

It exists because of this further reason. Of which reason?
Since It is the source of joy. How is Brahman well known as the source of joy? The answer is: Yat vai tat sukrtam, that which is known as the self-creator; rasah vai sah, is verily the rasah, (a source of joy). Rasah stands for anything that is a means for satisfaction, i.e. a source of joy, such as sweet and sour things which are well known to be so in the world. Rasam labdhva, getting a thing of joy; ayam bhavati, one becomes; anandi, happy. A nonentity is not seen in this world to be a cause of happiness. Inasmuch as those Brahmanas who have realized Brahman are seen to be as happy as one is from obtaining an external source of joy-though, in fact, they do not take help of any external means of happiness, make no effort, and cherish no desire-, it follows, as a matter of course, that Brahman is, indeed, the source of their joy. Hence there does exist that Brahman which is full of joy [Taking the expression, rasavat, to mean 'like a juice, i.e. like a sweet thing' (instead of 'full of joy'), the concluding portion may be translated thus: '....Brahman which is the spring of their happiness just as a sweet thing is.'] and is the spring of their happiness.

Brahman exists because of this additional reason. Of which?
Since such actions as exhaling are seen. This body, too, of a living being, exhales through that function of the vital force called prana and inhales through that other called apana. Thus are the body and senses, in their association, seen to perform their vital and organic functions. This coming into association for serving a common purpose is not possible unless there is a sentient being which is not a part of this conglomeration. For such is not the case anywhere else. [Building materials themselves, for instance, do not erect a structure. A house stands here because somebody built it and yet did not form a part of it] That fact is being stated: yat, if; esah anandah this Bliss; na syat, should not be there; akase, in the (supreme) space that is lodged in the cavity of the heart; then in this world, kah hi eva, who indeed; anyat, would inhale, i.e. perform the function of apana; or kah pranyat, who would exhale, i.e. perform the function of prana? Therefore that Brahman, for whose purpose there are such activities of the body and senses, as exhaling etc., does exist; and the happiness of people is caused by That itself. How? Esah hi eva, this one, this supreme Self, indeed; anandayati (i.e. anandayati), enlivens-people, in accordance with their merit. The idea is this: That very Self, which is Bliss by nature, is thought of as limited and diversified by poeple because of their ignorance.

The Brahman exists as the cause of fear and fearlessness of the men of ignorance and knowledge (respectively). For fearlessness comes as a result of taking refuge in something that exists, whereas fear cannot cease by resorting to some thing that does not exist. How does Brahman become the cause of fearlessness? The answer is: Hi, since; yada eva, at the very time; that esah, this one-an aspirant; etasmin, in this one-in Brahman-. (In Brahman) of what kind? Adrsye: drsya is anything that is meant to be seen, that is to say, any modification; for a modification is meant to be perceived; what is not a drsya is adrsya, i.e. changeless. In this adrsye, changeless, that which is not an object of cognition. Anatmye, in the unembodied. Since It is imperceptible, It is incorporeal. Since It is incorporeal, It is aniruktam, inexpressible. Anything possessed of attributes can alone be expressed in words,and anything possessed of attributes is mutable, whereas Brahman is changeless, It being the source of all modifications. Hence, It is inexpressible. That being so, It is anilayanam: nilayana is a nest, refuge; anilayana is the opposite of that; It is without support. The meaning of the sentence is: (When) in that entity which is this changeless, unembodied, inexpressible, unsustaining Brahman, which is distinct from all the attributes of a product, (the aspirant) vindate, gets; pratistham, stability, Self-absorption; abhayam, in a fearless way-. The word abhayam (fearlessly) is used adverbially (to modify the verb vindate, gets); or it has to be changed in gender to abhayam (fearless) to qualify the noun (pratistham, stability). (When the aspirant gets this fearless stability in Brahman) atha, then; since he does not see diversity which is the creation of ignorance and the cause of fear, therefore, sah, he; abhayam gatah bhavati, becomes established in fearlessness. When he becomes established in his true nature, then he does not see anything else, does not hear anything else, does not know anything else. Someone gets afraid of someone else, but it is not logical that the Self should be afraid of the Self. Hence the Self is the source of fearlessness for the Self. In spite of the existence of the cause of fear, there are Brahmanas to be found who are indeed free of fear from all quarters. This would be unjustifiable if Brahman, the protector from fear were not there. Therefore, from the fact of noticing their fearlessness, it follows that Brahman exists as the source of that intrepidity. When does that aspirant reach fearlessness? When he does not perceive anything else and does not create any antaram, difference, in the Self, then he attains fearlessness. This is the idea.

On the contrary, hi, since; yada, when, in the state of ignorance; esah, this one, the ignorant man; sees in the Self something presented by nescience, like the vision of a second moon seen by a man suffering from the eye-disease called timira; and etasmin, in this, in Brahman; kurute, he perceives; ut aram, even a slight; antaram, hole, difference-since the perception of difference is the cause of fear, [Another reading is bhedadarsanam eva hi antarakaranam-'the seeing of difference itself is the creator of difference'.] it means that even if he sees the slightest difference-; atha, then, because of that seeing of difference; bhayam bhavati, fear crops up for this soul that perceives difference. So the Self alone is the cause of fear to the self in the case of an ignorant man. The Upanisad states that very fact here: Tu nevertheless; tat eva, that very Brahman; is bhayam, a terror; vidusah, to the man of (apparent) learning, who perceives difference; that very Brahman, when perceived through (a sense of) duality and called God, becomes a terror for the (apparently) learned man who knows thus, 'God is different from me, and I am a wordly creature different from God', and who creates the slightest difference. (It becomes a terror) amanvanasya, for him who does not view from the stand point of unity. Accordingly, the man who does not realize the reality that is the Self, which is one and undifferentiated, is surely unenlightened, though he may be learned. Anyone who considers oneself destructible becomes struck with fear at the very sight of a destructive agency. A destroyer (in the ultimate analysis) can be so, only if it is itself indestructible. [The ultimate cause of fear must itself be indestructible, since a contrary supposition will lead to an infinte regress. And such an eternal agent is Brahman.] Now, if there be no cause of destruction, there should be no such fear in the destructible as issues from a perception of a destroyer. The whole world, however, is seen to be sticken with fear. Therefore, from the perceived fact of fear in the world, it follows that there does exist a terrifying thing which is by nature an indestructible agent of destruction, because of which the world shudders. Expressive of this idea, too, there is this verse:
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