Author Topic: CHAPTER 6 - SECTION 16  (Read 635 times)


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« on: April 07, 2019, 02:43:57 PM »
6.16.1. Listen, somya, O good-looking one; as purusam, a man, suspected of an act of stealing, is brought by the king's men; hasta-grhitam, with his hands tied for the sake of testing him; or uta, also for punishing him. When they are asked, 'What has this man done?', they reply, 'Apaharsit, he has carried away this man's wealth.' They ask, 'Does one deserve to be bound by the mere fact of having carried away (something)? Otherwise there arises the possibility of being bound even when one has accepted a gift.' When told so, they reply again, 'Steyam akarsit, he has committed a theft, he has carried away wealth
by an act of theft.'

When they are talking thus, the other (the thief) denies, saying, 'I am not the perpetrator of that.' And the say, 'You have been suspected of stealing the wealth of this person.' And when he persists in denying they say, 'Tapata, heat up; parasum, an axe; asmai, for him. Let him exonerate himself. Yadi, if; sah, he; bhavati, is; a karta, a perpetrator; tasya, of that theft, and denies this outwardly; then, having as he does, tatah eva, thereby; he kurute, makes; atmanam, himself; anrtam, false. He feigns to be other than what the is. Thereby, anrta-abhisandhah, committed to false-hood; and antardhaya, hiding, covering; atmanam, himself; anrtena, under falsehood; sah, he; foolishly pratigrhnati, takes up taptam parasum, the heated axe. Sah dehyate, he gets burnt. Atha, then; hanyate, he is killed by the king's men owing to his own guilt of sticking to falsehood.

6.16.2. Atha, on the other hand; yadi, if; tasya akarta bhalvati, he has not committed that act (of theft); then tatah eva, by that very fact; satyam atmanam kurute, he makes himself truthful. He, atmanam-antardhaya, having screened himself with truth by the fact of his not having committed that theft; pratigrhnati, takes up; tapam parasum, the heated exe. Satya-abhisandhah, sticking to truth; na dahyate, he is not burnt, because he is screened by truth. And atha, then; mucyate, he is released from the false accusers. Although the contact of the hot axe with the palms of the hands is the same in the case of both the person who has committed theft and who has not, still, the man sticking to falsehood is burnt, but not the one who sticks to truth.

6.16.3. Yatha, as; tatra, in that case; sah, he, one who was sticking to truth; na dahyeta, was not burnt even on taking up the heated axe because his palm was covered by truth, similarly among the two--one who sticks to truth which is Existence--Brahman, and the other who does not-- although the merger in Brahman at the time of death is the same, the man of Knowledge, after merging in Brahman, does not return for taking up the bodies of tigers, gods etc. while the ignorant man, sticking to false, impermanent things, assumes again the bodies of tigers etc. or gods etc. 'according to his actions and knowledge'
(Ka. II.2.7). 'The Self by remaining steadfast in which, or by not being so, one gets release or bondage respectively, That which is the root of the universe,
That which is the abode and basis of all creatrues, That which is the quintessence of all, and That which is birthless, immortal, fearless, auspicious, and nondual, tat satyam, That is Truth; sah atma, That is your Self.

Therefore, tat tvam, asi, Thou art That; svetaketo, O Svetaketu.' This sentence has been explained more than once. Who again is that Svetaketu, denoted by the word 'thou'? It is he who knows himself as, 'I am Svetaketu, the son of Uddalaka', and who, after hearing the instruction, thinking over it and understanding it, asked his father for knowing what has not been heard of and thought of, and remains unknown, 'Venerable sir, how is that instruction imparted?' He who has become entitled to be the hearer, the thinker, and the knower, is none other than the supreme Deity himself, who, in the form of a reflection has entered into the aggregate of body and organs made up of fire, water, and food,--like a 'person in the mirror or like sun etc. in water etc.--, for the sake of manifesting name and form. Before hearing from his father, he did not know himself as completely distinct from the aggregate of body and organs, and as Existence by nature and all-pervasive. Now, after having been enlightened by the father with the help of illustrations and reasonings that, 'Thou are That', he vijajnau, understood that statement of his father to mean, 'I am Existence Itself'. The repetition (of 'He understood') is to indicate the conclusion of the chapter.

Objection: On the authority of the text in this sixth chapter, what has been the additional result as regards the Self?   
Reply: The result is the cessation of the knowledge of having competence for agentship and enjoyership, of which we spoke of as the competence to hear and contemplate on the object implied by the word 'tvam, you', for knowing That which is unknown (According to Ananda Giri, the construction of the latter portion of the sentence is this: of whom we spoke of as the object implied by the word 'tvam, you', who is competent for the result of hearing that which has not been heard of, contemplating on that which has not been contemplated on, and knowing that which has not been known.).

Such ideas as, 'I shall perform these rites such as Agnihotra etc.; I am competent for this; I shall enjoy the results of these words here and hereafter; or when these works are finished I shall have fulfilled my duties; in this way I am competent for agentship and enjoyership', that one had with regard to the Self, before the dawn of this Knowledge, cease when he is enlightened by the words, 'You are That, the Existence which is the root of the universe, and is One without a second', since the two (ideas) are contradictory. because, when the Self, One without a second, is realized as 'I am This', then, the idea of differences, such as, 'This thing is different from me', 'This has to be accomplished by me,' or, 'By doing this I shall enjoy its results', are not logical. Therefore it is reasonable that, when the true knowledge of the non-dual Self as Existence is realized then, the false, mutable knowledge of the Self as the individual soul ceases.

Objection: It is no that in the sentence 'Thou art That', the idea of Existence is enjoined to be superimposed on the object implied by the word 'Thou'? As for instance, the idea of Brahman etc. are enjoined to be superimposed on the sun, mind, etc.; or, as in the world, an image is enjoined to be looked upon as Visnu and others. But it is not that 'thou art identical with Existence itself'. Had Svetaketu been Existence itself, why should he not have known himself to be so, because of which fact the instruction of 'Thou are That' is imparted to him.
Reply: It is not so because this is different from the sentence about the sun etc. In such sentence as, 'adityo brahma iti upasita, the sun (is to be meditated on) as Brahman', because of the intervention of the word iti (as) (between 'sun' and 'Brahman'), it is understood that the sun is not directly identical with Brahman. Besides, the sun and others have forms etc. Space and mind also are not Brahman because they (too) are separated by the word iti (as). But here, after showing the 'entry' of Existence itself into the body, the instruction is given in the form, 'Thou are That', where identity of one's Self and Existence is stated in the absolute sense.

Objection: Is it not that the instruction 'Thou art That is like the statement, 'You are a lion possessed of the qualities of prowess etc.'?
Reply: No, because the instruction has been given that, like earth etc. Reality is existence which is one without a second. Moreover, since knowledge based on metaphor is not absolute, as in the illustration 'You are Indra, you are Yama', merger in Existence as a result of knowledge based on metaphor would not have been imparted in the sentence, 'His delay is for that long' (VI.15.2). And it is not even a case of adoration because Svetaketu is not meant to be adored. Also, Existence cannot be praised by enjoining that It is Svetaketu, because a king is not praised by saying, 'You are a servant.' Besides, by saying 'Thou are That', Existence which is all-pervasive is not meant to be confined within a limited space, just as the ruler of a country cannot be told, 'You are the ruler of a village'. Moreover, here there is no possibility of having any meaning other than the instruction about the identity of Existence and the Self.   

Opponent: Is it not that, what is enjoined here is the duty of having the idea 'I am Existence', but not that something unknown is pointed out by saying, 'You are Existence'?
Counter-objection: Is it not that from this point of view also, it becomes illogical to say that 'the unheard of becomes heard', etc.?
Opponent: No, since that is meant as a praise of the injunction about the idea, 'I am Existence'.   
Vedantin: Not so, because instructions are given thus: 'A person having a teacher knows', and 'His delay is for that long'. If it be that the entertainment of the idea, 'I am Existence', is enjoined as a duty, but not that the object denoted by the word 'you' (tvam) is identical with Existence itself, then, it would not have been necessary to impart the instruction about the means of knowledge by saying, 'A person having a teacher knows'. just as having a teacher is understood from the very implication of such sentence as, 'One should perform the Agnihotra-sacrifice' etc. similar would have been the case (here as well), And it would not have been logical to have to wait as stated in, 'His delay is for that long', for the contingency would arise of getting Liberation by (merely) entertaining the idea only once, even when the truth of the Self as Existence remains unrealized.
And just as it is not possible to assert that the ideas of obligation for performing Agnihotra etc. arising from the injunction about Agnihotra-sacrifice, do not either arise or that they convey a different meaning, similarly when the declaration 'Thou art That' is made, then the knowledge that arises from this valid text cannot be set aside by (the wrong notion) 'I am not Existence'.
Nor is it possible to say that such a knowledge doesn't arise, because all Upanisadic texts exhaust themselves pointing to this one conclusion.

As for the objection raised that, if one is the Self that is Existence, then why should one not know this?--there is no such defect. Because it is seen that creatures do not instinctively have the idea, 'I as an individual soul, distinct from the body and the organs, I am the doer and enjoyer'; what to speak of his having the knowledge that he is the Self identified with Existence! How can they have this realization of the Self as Existence? How is it possible for them to have ideas of agentship etc. in the absence of this kind of distinct knowledge (that 'I am a soul')? And this is the observed fact. Similarly, because of his identification of the Self with the body etc. for him there will also be no knowledge of the Self as Existence.

Therefore, the conclusion arrived at is that this sentence, 'Thou art That', is the remover of the identification of the Self with the individual soul involved in change and unreality.

« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 09:13:07 PM by Commentary »