V Subrahmanian, Thursday, January 28, 2016 3:47 pm

Sutasamhit? Chandogyopani?at – Part 8

Part 8

The text is delineating the creation of the world:

Verse 57

??? ????? ??????????? ?????? ????? ?
?????????????? ????????????? ? ????? ? ???

??? this ????? all ???? universe ?????? real  ?? as though ?????  shines ??? yet ????? by itself ?????????????? apart from the cause ? ????? is not ?? alone ???? in this ? no ????? doubt

In the foregoing, by the three analogies of clay-clay products, gold-gold products and iron-iron products the Upani?ad has established that the effect is non-different from its cause. With a view to reiterate and strengthen this idea the Upani?ad has stated that the visible world made up of the ‘tri-folded’ (grossified) elements is non-different from the un-tri-folded (basic) elements viz., tejas (fire), ?p?? (water) and annam (earth), that constitute the fundamental cause (of the world). This has been presented by the Upani?ad by four analogies in the section consisting of the passage ‘?????? ?????? ?????…..’ (Ch?ndogya Upan?ad 6.4.1) [This will be explained in the sequel]. The entire world which is the effect of the quintuplication (pañc?kara?am) of the five basic elements – ether, air, fire, water and earth – though appears to be real with the names and forms, is actually non-different from its cause that are these subtle elements. Thus, at the first stage, the teaching of the Upani?ad is to enable the seeker to see beyond the apparent name-formed world and appreciate the fundamental cause at the elemental level. So, instead of taking the world as it appears to the senses, one ought to view the world as nothing other than the five elements. 
The non-difference of the manifest world from its causal elements is now demonstrated: 

Verse 58

?????? ?????? ???? ??????? ????? ??? ?
????????? ????? ???? ????????? ?????? ??? ? ???

??? that ?????? of fire ?????? red ???? color ??? that  ???? color ????? of fire ??? always ??? that ?????? white ??? that ???? of water ???? color ??? that ?????? black ????? of earth ?? alone ??? that

In the tri-folded (grossified) elements that are fire, water and earth,  the three colors red, white and black are present. Of the three colors, red belongs to the subtle, non-tri-folded, element tejas. The white in agni is that of the subtle, non-tri-folded, element ?pa? (water). The black color is that of the subtle, non-tri-folded, element earth, bh?mi. 

Objection: In the face of these colors belonging to others, why can’t there be the element agni by its own as a substantive? The reply is in the sequel:    

Verse 59

?????? ??????????? ??? ???????? ????????? ?
??????????????? ?? ?????? ????????????? ? ???

? ????? not there ??????????? apart from the color ??? always ?? that ?????? fire ????????? O foremost of Gods ???????????????  commenced by word alone ?? indeed ?????? transformation ????????????? called ‘fire’

Verse 60

?????? ?????? ?? ???? ?? ????? ? ????? ?
??????? ?????? ???? ??????? ????? ??? ? ???

?????? three ?????? colors ?? O ????? Gods! ?? alone ?????  real ?  ?  not indeed ???? fire ??? that ????? of the sun ?????? red ???? color ??? that ???? color ????? of fire ??? always

Verse 61

????????? ????? ???? ????????? ?????? ??? ?
?????? ??????????? ??????????? ? ????? ? ???

??? that ?????? white ??? that ???? of water ???? color ??? that ?????? black ????? of earth ?? alone ??? that ? not ????? is ??????????? apart from color ??? always  ??????? sun ? no  ????? doubt

These three elements alone (fire, water and earth) combined get the names agni, ?pa? and annam (p?thv?). Apart from these names there are no real entities. The idea is that apart from their causal elements, there are no objects that can be really shown as ‘effects’ of these causal elements. 

Objection: We do experience objects like fire, water and earth that serve the purpose of heating, cooking, etc. How can these be denied? Reply: Apart from the causal triad of colors, that which are perceived as effects by the names fire, water and earth are no real entities. They are merely only an effect-state of their causes. These effects alone are spoken of by the names such as ‘fire’. Apart from the names there are no real entities that can be proven as different from the causal states. 

Verse 62

?????????? ??????????? ???????????????? ?
??? ????????? ???????? ????????? ?????????? ? ???

?????????? illusion  ?????? merely ??????? ‘sun’ ??? thus ???? say ????????? the deluded ??? thus ???????’moon’ ? and ???????? to be known ???????? lightning ? too ?????????? exalted Gods!

The worldly parlance of considering the effect as different from the cause is owing to delusion. What the ?ruti has elaborately taught by the statement ‘yat chandramaso rohitam r?pam’ (Ch?ndogya Upani?ad 6.4.3) [‘the red color of the moon…’], is shown here extending that logic. That is, in the case of agni and ?ditya, it was shown in verses 58 and 60 above, that they are non-different from their basic color-borne elements.  This same logic is extended in the case of Chandra, the moon and vidyut, the lightning. In all these cases it should be known that the effects that we perceive are mere names for the causes alone that they are. 

Verse 63

??????????? ???? ?????? ??????? ? ?
????? ?????????????? ?????? ???????? ?????? ? ???

??????????? pot, wall, etc. ???? objects ?????? beings ??????? world ? as well ????? all ?????????????? apart from Brahman ? ????? not existent ??????  Brahman ?? alone ??? Existence ??? always

Now, what has been demonstrated in the cases of a few effects that we perceive, a generalization is made to cover the entire objective world. Just as these – fire, sun, moon and lightning – are non-existent apart from their causes – tejas, ?pa? and annam (tri-folded, grossified, fire, water and earth) – so too, the entire world consisting of beings sentient and insentient making up the whole world, is non-existent apart from Brahman the cause of creation. Now, we are able to appreciate that the avowed purpose of the Ch?ndogya Upani?ad is to enable the aspirant to appreciate the only Truth that underlies the experienced, perceived, world of manifold nature. The aim of Ved?nta is to reduce the entire multiplicity to a unified Reality which cannot be further reduced to anything else. This Reality called Brahman, Sat, etc. is the only reality.  It would not be correct to specify it as even the cause since after negating the existence (as a separate entity) the entire world of variety, there will be no purpose served by holding on to the ‘cause-of-the-world’ tag to Brahman. 

All the above was stated with a view to provide the background to the seminal teaching of the mah?v?kya, ‘tat tvam asi’, where the j?va, the aspirant, is taught to be non-different from Brahman the ‘all-cause.’ How indeed does the j?va that is non-different from Sat, Chit, Brahman, experience the notion of ‘I’ in the body-mind complex that is only a non-existent effect of the unreal elements? This is answered in the next verse. 

Verse 64

???????????????????????????? ???? ?? ?
????????????????????????????????? ????? ? ???

????????????????????????????? owing to the impressions of the preceding delusions ???? power ?? however ???????????????????? in the mind-organs complex ??????? the idea of ‘I’ ????? is born ????? firmly  

The delusion that ‘I am the body, mind, etc.’ has its root in the impression, v?san?, born of the delusion (of the same I-notion in the body, etc.) in the earlier birth. This is the situation in the earlier birth as well and thus such precedence is to be known to come down from time without a beginning, an?di. When understood thus, there will be no need to postulate an infinite regress. 

Verse 65

??????????????? ???? ???????? ??????? ?
???????????? ???????? ????????????????? ? ???


??????????????? body, organs, etc. ????? objects ? not ???????? the meaning of ‘I’ ??????? upon analyzing ??????????? elementals ? and ???????? with aspects of elements ??? always ?? only ????????????? loved          

The Ch?ndogya Upani?ad [6.5.1 to 6.6.1] has specified that the food consumed transforms into the body, mind, speech, etc. organs (of knowledge and action), flesh, blood, marrow, etc. This body, etc. complex is only an effect, k?ryam, of the three elements that are inert and therefore inert. Since the ‘I’ is the subject matter for Consciousness alone and not the inert body-mind, etc. complex, the former can never be an object of the latter. This is shown in the above verse in a concise form. It is only due to delusion one thinks that the body, etc. are the subject matter of the ‘I’.  On analysis it is proved that the body-mind complex of a person is a product of the food consumed by his parents. When one consumes food, his own body, etc. grow, by the inputs from the elements tejas, ?pa? and annam. What actually increases in size, volume, etc. are the feces, flesh and mind as a transformation of the gross, middling and subtle aspects of the food. It is a trick of m?y? that makes one think that the body, etc. is oneself. This is called the handiwork of avidy?-adhy?sa, the enveloping and projecting powers. 

Coming soon…part 9

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