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suutra 2: janmaadyasya yataH / Suutra 2 - janmaadyasya yataH |
« Last post by Dr. Sadananda on February 26, 2015, 01:49:20 PM »
Suutra 2 - samanvaya adhyaaya - I spashhTa brahma li~Nga vaakya samanvaya paada I janmaadi adhikaraNam 2 suutra 1: janmaadyasya yataH |

We now begin our study of suutra 2

suutra 2: janmaadyasya yataH / Introduction
« Last post by Dr. Sadananda on February 26, 2015, 01:48:15 PM »

      After the upodghaata or introductory suutra, which indirectly deals with the anubandha chatushhTayam or the four-fold requirements, Vyasacharya begins the shaastram with the second sutra. The second suutra belongs to second adhikaraNam. This adhikaraNam is known as the janmaadi adhikaraNam because the suutra begins with the word janmaadi. This adhikaraNam also has only one suutra. The suutra is 'janmaadyasya yataH'.

      We will follow as usual the three-stepped approach; first the general analysis, then specific word by word analysis and then the conclusion.

suutra 2: janmaadyasya yataH / General Analysis
« Last post by Dr. Sadananda on February 26, 2015, 01:47:38 PM »
General Analysis

      The topic of discussion in this adhikaraNam is Brahma lakshaNam or the definition of Brahman. Hence the second suutram is also called Brahma lakshaNa suutram. There is a well-known statement in the shaastra which says: 'lakshaNa pramaaNaabhyaam vastu siddhiH', which means that any object is established only through two factors; lakshaNam and pramaaNam. Only after the object is fully established (siddham), there is a possibility for further inquiry into the nature of the object. No inquiry can be done if the existence of the object itself is not established. The inquiry in such a case can only be limited to the extent whether such an object exists or not. Hence vichaara or inquiry of an object presupposes the knowledge of its siddhatvam or existence. Furthermore, even if an object can be defined by its lakshaNam or definition that is not sufficient to establish its siddhatvam or existence. In addition to lakshaNam, we need a valid pramaaNam or valid means for knowing the object. For example, even if someone provides a lakshaNam of a full moon in the sky, that is not sufficient to establish the existence of a moon, if I do not have the eyes to see. Hence we require at least two entities for any inquiry, a lakshaNam and a pramaaNam. If either one is present without the other, it is still useless for me to inquire into that object. Even if I have the eyes to see (pramaaNam), I will not know about the moon, unless I have the definition of the moon that distinguishes it from many luminary objects in the sky. To put in Sanskrit (one can skip these lines if you want, without losing the continuity)

      lakshaNa satve api, pramaaNam vinaa na vastu siddhiH |
      pramaaNam satve api, lakshaNam vinaa na vastu siddhiH |
      yatra lakshaNam cha vartate, pramaaNam cha vartate, tatra eva vastunaH siddhiH |
      Once the moon is established through the lakshaNam and pramaaNam one can spend his whole lifetime, if he wants, inquiring into the moon. Thus vichaara or inquiry presupposes siddhi or existence, and siddhi requires both lakshaNam and pramaaNam.

      lakshaNam and pramaaNam of Brahman

      We are discussing in Brahmasuutra -s about the inquiry into Brahman.

      Inquiry into Brahman is possible only if there is such a thing called 'Brahman'. To know Brahman's existence therefore we need 'Brahma lakshaNam and Brahma pramaaNam. Hence in the second suutra Vyasacharya gives Brahma lakshaNam and in the third suutra he gives Brahma pramaaNam. Only from the fourth suutra on, we get into Brahma vichaara or inquiry.

      In this context it is worth discussing Shankaracharya's comments at the end of the first suutra. There Shankara asks a question - Is Brahman known or unknown before we can talk about the inquiry of Brahman? Purvapakshi comes and says either way the inquiry is not required. If Brahman is unknown, how can one make an inquiry of an object that one does not know. If I ask a student to inquire on 'gaagaabuubuu' and if none of us know what that blessed 'gaagaabuubuu' is or whether such a thing exists or not, then how can one do any inquiry. If Brahman is already known, then one is already a 'brahmaj~naani'. Then any further inquiry into Brahman is also useless. Hence Brahmasutra need not be studied. There is an interesting shloka in Vivekachudamani (shloka 59) to this effect.

      avij~naate pare tattve shaastraadhiitistu nishhphalaa |
      vij~naate api pare tattve shaastraadhiitistu nishhphalaa ||
      If one does not know the Brahman, the study of the shaastra -s is futile. Having known the Brahman, the study of the shaastra -s is again futile.

      In response to puurvapakshi, Shankara says, Brahman is not unknown.

      It is known through Veda pramaaNa. Even the word 'Brahman', one is conversant with only because of Veda-s. When a Vedic student studies Veda, he comes to know that there is something called 'Brahman'.

      Veda teaches him 'brahmavit brahma eva bhavati', 'brahmavidaapnoti param', 'satyam j~naanam anantam brahma'. The very word 'Brahman' indicates that the object in question is infinitely big, since the word is derived from the root 'bR^ih' meaning 'bR^ihati' or 'bR^inhati' - in the meaning of vR^iddhi or expansion or bigness.

      Hence the student comes to know that there is an entity which is very big. Further Shankara says that the very word 'big' is a relative word. The meaning of the word 'big', which is an adjective, itself gets qualified by the noun that it qualifies. There is a big mountain ahead if we say, not only the mountain is qualified by its bigness, but bigness is also qualified by the word mountain in relation to a normal size mountain. In contrast if we say there is a big mosquito in my net, the bigness of the mosquito is qualified by the normal size mosquito which is different from the normal size mountain. The dimensions of the bigness for a mountain are different from those of a mosquito, or an ameba. When upanishhad talks about Brahman it uses the adjective 'big' as the noun itself, as The Big.

      That is there is no noun to condition the bigness, as the big itself is used as a noun. That is it is unconditionally big, meaning it is infinite. Similarly we use existence not as an adjective but as a noun referring to Brahman. Thus adjectives are used as nouns to indicate that we are not talking about any object that is conditioned but that which is beyond any conditioning. Hence Shankara says through veda pramaaNa, one comes to know that there is infinitely big entity called Brahman. Since all my experiences are about finite things or entities and that one has never experienced an infinitely big entity, one would doubt the existence of such a thing indicated by Vedas. Hence to remove such a doubt the scripture says that entity is nothing but one's own Self, the aatma. If so, I can never doubt the existence of Brahman, since doubting the existence of Brahman means doubting my own existence. Nobody doubts whether 'I am or not', since the very doubt presupposes my existence. Doubter cannot be doubted, because doubt cannot exist without a doubter.

      Hence Shankara says 'na kaschit naahamasmiiti pratyeti', no one can question his own existence. Hence there is no doubt regarding aatma astitvam, and thus brahma astitvam, existence of Brahman. And such a 'Brahman', I come to know through veda pramaaNa. Therefore the inquiry is into 'known Brahman' only and not unknown Brahman.

      But puurvapakshi still questions, if you have already known Brahman, why do you need to do inquiry? For that Shankara says that from scriptures, I learn that Brahman is aatma. Hence one does not doubt about the existence of oneself, but one still does not have complete knowledge of oneself. One does not know 'who am I?' I do not have clear knowledge of my self due to adhyaasa (See Ch. III). Because of this reason only different philosophers have different notions about the self. The chaarvaaka -s say 'I am the body'. The naiyyayika -s say I am not the body, but the soul, which is all pervading.

      There are many souls or aatma -s,'aneka vibhu aatmaanaH', each one is all pervading, but locused, one on each body and is kartaa and bhoktaa. The saa.nkhyaa -s say, these all pervading multiple aatma -s are not kartaa -s but only bhoktaa -s. Thus regarding 'who am I' there is so much of confusion, and hence Shankara concludes that inquiry is required. Thus Brahman is neither totally known nor totally unknown, but it is unclearly known. Hence 'aapaata j~naanam' or unclear or vague knowledge or paroksha j~naanam exists. Hence Brahman inquiry is required to convert the unclear knowledge or paroksha j~naanam into aparoksha j~naanam or clear and direct experiential knowledge. Thus Shankara discusses in his introduction to suutra 2, that there are pramaaNam and lakshaNam for Brahman.

suutra 2: janmaadyasya yataH / taTastha and swaruupa lakshaNam-s
« Last post by Dr. Sadananda on February 26, 2015, 01:45:28 PM »
taTastha and swaruupa lakshaNam-s

      The lakshaNam or definition is of two types; swaruupa lakshaNam and taTastha lakshaNam. When an object is defined through its intrinsic feature, that definition is called swaruupa lakshaNam. When an object is defined through an incidental feature or a temporary feature which is not intrinsic feature of the object, it is called taTastha lakshaNam. The word taTastham consists of two words taTa and stha. taTaH means the bank of a river, and sthaH means existing. taTastham means that which remains in the bank of the river, hence is not a part of the river and hence is not an intrinsic feature of the river. An example that is given is 'prakR^ishhTa prakaashhaH chandraH' - moon is brightest luminary in the (night) sky.

      Brightness of the moon is its intrinsic feature (forgetting the science now) and hence it is swaruupa lakshaNam of moon. Likewise satyam, j~naanam and anantam or aanandam - are swaruupa lakshaNam of Brahman since they are the intrinsic feature of Brahman. The definition of swaruupam lakshaNam is 'swaruupam sat vyaavartakam swaruupa lakshaNam' that intrinsic feature of an object which reveals or defines an object. Typical example of taTastha lakshaNam which can be appreciated easily in America where most of the houses look alike (indistinguishable swaruupa lakshaNam-s) is ' That house on which a crow is sitting right now is John's house' - The sitting of a crow is only an incidental feature of the John's house and not a swaruupa lakshaNa of the house. The definition of taTastha lakshaNam is kaadaachitkam sat vyaavartakam, taTastha lakshaNam', temporarily that which pin-points is taTastha lakshaNam.

      The taTastha lakshaNam of Brahman is 'jagat kaaraNam Brahma', Brahman is that which is the cause of the universe. To decide if this is taTastha lakshaNam or swaruupa lakshaNam of Brahman, one should ask if the world is an intrinsic feature of Brahman or an incidental feature of Brahman. It is an incidental feature since before the creation there is no world and after the desolation there is no world. For videha mukta, the world is permanently not there. Hence world is only an incidental feature of Brahman, thus a taTastha lakshaNam of Brahman. The second suutram is presenting only a taTastha lakshaNam of Brahman and we can say it is 'taTastha lakshaNa suutra of Brahman'.

      Next we take the general meaning and then word by word meaning of the suutra.

suutra 2: janmaadyasya yataH / General meaning of the suutra
« Last post by Dr. Sadananda on February 26, 2015, 01:44:45 PM »
General meaning of the suutra

      The suutra grammatically is incomplete and we need to supply two words to complete it. This is called ' adhyaahaaraH ', meaning supplying the words required completing the suutra grammatically. The full suutra is ' janma aadi asya yataH, tat brahma ' - one can also add ' bhavati ' in the end, which is automatically implied in Sanskrit. Meaning of the suutra is 'Brahman is that from which the origin, etc., of the world takes place' - simply ' sR^ishhTi aadi kaaraNam, brahma '. The ' aadi ' or etc., includes ' sthithi ' and ' laya '. Hence the final meaning is ' jagat sR^ishhTi, sthiti, laya kaaraNam, brahma ', Brahman is that from which the origin, sustenance and annihilation of the world takes place. (Shankara uses the word bha~Ngam instead of laya since janmaadi is neuter gender and to maintain the same neuter gender or a samaahaara dvandva compound).

      Vyasacharya uses the pronoun ' asya ' and from the context it refers to ' asya jagataH ', of this world or universe. The word ' yataH ' means yasmaat kaaraNaat - from which cause. tat brahman meaning that is brahman. Hence the final general meaning of the suutra is 'Brahman is that cause, from which the origin, sustenance and dissolution of the universe takes place'.

      Being a nyaaya prasthaanam, every suutra must present a ' anumaana vaakyam '. The nyaaya vaakyam that can be derived from this suutra is: ' brahma asti, lakshaNa sattvaat, ghaTavat ' Brahman is existent, because there is lakshaNam for Brahman, just as a pot. the vyaapti vaakyam is, ' yatra yatra lakshaNa sattvam, tatra tatra vastu sidhhiH '. Therefore brahma vichaara can be possible since Brahman exists.

suutra 2: janmaadyasya yataH / The vishhaya vaakyam for the suutra
« Last post by Dr. Sadananda on February 26, 2015, 01:44:02 PM »
The vishhaya vaakyam for the suutra

      As discussed before every suutra must have a upanishhad statement or statements that it should have based on which Vyasacharya formulates the suutra. For this suutra the vishhaya vaakyam is from ' bhR^igu valli ' of taittiriiya Upanishhad [III:i: 1]. The mantra is:

      ' yato vaa imaani bhuutaani jaayante | yena jaataani jiivanti | yat prayantyabhisa.nvishanti | tad vijij~naasasva | tad brahmeti |'
      This bhR^igu valli statement is brahma taTastha lakshaNa vaakyam. 'Brahman is the sR^ishTi kaaraNam, sthiti kaaraNam and laya kaaraNam'. This is the vishhaya vaakyam of the second suutra. This concludes the general analysis of the suutra.

suutra 2: janmaadyasya yataH / Now word by word analysis of the suutra
« Last post by Dr. Sadananda on February 26, 2015, 01:43:32 PM »
Now word by word analysis of the suutra

We will now analyze the suttra word by word

suutra 2: janmaadyasya yataH / Analysis of the word janmaadi
« Last post by Dr. Sadananda on February 26, 2015, 01:42:42 PM »
Analysis of the word janmaadi

      The first word is janmaadi, which is a compound word consisting of janma and aadi. Janma referring to creation and aadi means etc. referring to the sthiti or sustenance and laya or annihilation.

suutra 2: janmaadyasya yataH / Objection 1
« Last post by Dr. Sadananda on February 26, 2015, 01:42:09 PM »
Objection 1

      A puurvapakshii comes forward and comes with a suggestion for the meaning. Shankara has interpreted the janmaadi as the three-fold aspect, janma, sthiti and layam or janmaadi trayam. Puurvapakshi says that there is another book known as 'niruktam', the science of etymology, authored by Yaaska'. In that, Yaaska points out that every object in the creation goes through six-fold phenomenon and not three. He calls them as ' shhaD bhaava vikaaraaH ', six-fold change for objects or padaartham. While enumerating these six, Yaaska starts with 'janma'. He says: jaayate, asti, vardhate, vipariNamate, apakshiiyate, vinashyati', birth, existence, growth, modification, decay and death. From that nirukta we came to know that every object in the universe goes through janmaadi shaTkam. Hence the suggestion of the puurvapakshii is that in the suutra, janmaadi means janmaadi shaTkam, the six-fold aspect starting from janma in tune with Yaaska's nirukta rather than janmaadi trayam, the three-fold aspect, that Shankara proposes.

      Shankara gives two answers for this objection.

      First Yaska is a human being. Hence 'niruktam' is paurushheyam or authored by a human. Hence the author can only talk about objects within the creation and cannot discuss the creation of the whole universe since the human intellect does not have an access to study the jagat kaaraNam or the cause of the whole universe. For example, Yaska cannot talk about the origin of aakaasha or space. He can speculate about the origin but that is not pramaaNa or valid means of knowledge. Hence his discussion can only be confined to bhautika prapa~ncha or objects within the creation. Hence the six-fold aspect that he discusses concerns only about the objects within the universe. Here in the suutra we are discussing the origin of the whole universe that includes the space and even time. Hence Yaska's statement is irrelevant here.

      For this puurvapakshii comes forward with counter statement. Why one should dismiss Yaska text is as not valid pramaaNam? It can be a valid pramaaNam just as smR^iti (like Bhagavad geeta) text since it is based on shruti and is not his intellectual product. Then, even though it is paurusheyam, authored by a human, it gets validity as pramaaNa similar to apaurusheya text. Hence Yaaska's statement about the six-fold aspect can be taken as referencing to the entire cosmos rather than just to objects within the cosmos. Hence Yaska's statement should be relevant here.

      For this Shankara says, even if Yaska's statement is taken as pramaaNam, it has only the borrowed validity since it is presumably based on the shruti statement. But the interpretation that is given is based on direct shruti statement, which has intrinsic validity and not the borrowed validity. Shruti talks about janmaadi trayam or the three-fold aspect only and not the six-fold aspect. The taittiriiya upanishhad mantra above very clearly states the three-fold aspect and not the six-fold aspect. This is the first answer to puurvapakshii.

      The second answer is simple. Vyasacharya has written the entire Brahmasutra for analyzing the Vedanta statements only and that is the stated purpose of the Brahmasutra. Hence it is also called vedanta suutraani or uttaramiimaa.nsa suutraani. Hence when Vyasa uses the word janmaadi', one should give the meaning in tune with Upanishads and not that in tune with Yaska's nirukta text or any other text.

      Therefore janmaadi' in the suutra should refer to the three-fold aspect involving creation, sustenance and annihilation. Then what about the six-fold modifications that Yaska talks about? Since that refers to the objects, which are within the universe, it is part of the three-fold aspect discussed in the Upanishad mantra. Hence it is included and not excluded from the three-fold aspect of the Upanishhad statement. Hence the primary meaning of the janmaadi' is the janma, sthiti and layam, and by implication it can include the six-fold aspect discussed by Yaaska.

      With this the objections of first puurvapakshii are answered.

suutra 2: janmaadyasya yataH / Objection 2
« Last post by Dr. Sadananda on February 26, 2015, 12:07:46 PM »
Objection 2

      Now the arguments of a second puurvapakshi are as follows:

      According to advaitin, the sR^ishhTi, sthiti and laya are cyclic processes and not a linear process. If this is linear, then advaitin will be faced with more severe question, 'When all this began?' Hence advaitin circumvented the problem by arguing that it is cyclic process and therefore the question of beginning does not arise, since every point in a cycle is both beginning as well as the end point.

      The pramaaNam for that advaitin quotes:

      avyaktaadiini bhuutaani vyaktamadhyaani bhaarata | avyakta nidhanaanyeva tatra kaa paridevanaa || B.G.2-28
      The beings are unmanifested before creation and unmanifested after annihilation and manifested temporarily in between. Therefore why grieve for such temporal things.

      avyaktaad vyaktayaH sarvaaH prabhavanti aharaagame | raatri aagame praliiyante tatraiva avyakta sanj~nake || B.G. 8-18.
      All beings and things get manifested from their unmanifested state when the creation starts (when Brahma's day starts) and return to unmanifested form when the creation folds (when Brahma's night starts).

      Hence advaitins subscribe that sR^ishhTi, sthiti and laya, creation, sustenance and annihilation are cyclic processes. Thus in a cyclic process one can not claim which one of three is the beginning. If so, puurvapakshii questions how did Vyasacharya say - janmaadi asya jagataH, because the word -aadi - in Sanskrit literally means beginning with. The secondary meaning only is etc. Hence the literary meaning of the suutra should be - the three phenomenon of the universe beginning with creation. Because of the cyclic nature, why didn't suutra say, beginning with sthiti or beginning with laya instead of beginning with janma, unless it is a linear process and not a cyclic process?

      Shankara gives two answers to this objection.

      Even though it is a cyclic process and hence one cannot in principle talk about the beginning in these phenomena, human comprehension generally goes in a particular order. In the events there is no order. But in our - pratipatti - or our understanding there is an order. If I have to talk about the destruction or death of something, it presupposes the existence of that thing. Hence its laya presupposes its sthiti. Likewise, if I have to talk about the existence of something, it presupposes its origin. Hence the understanding of laya presupposes the understanding of sthiti and which in turn presupposes the understanding of shrushhTi. Only after the child is born, we inquire into whether it is surviving or dying. Hence Shankara says understanding requires this logical sequence.

      Thus what Vyasacharya presents is - pratipatti kramaH - the order in understanding the phenomenon.

      The second answer is that Vyasacharya is writing the suutra keeping the shruti vishhaya vaakyam in his mind. Even though there is no order in the sR^ishhTi, sthiti and laya, shruti gives a particular order. Hence the choice of the order is dictated by the shruti vaakyam itself. In addition similar order is discussed in several shruti texts. For example, B.G 11-2 starts - bhava apyayau hi bhuutaanaam, meaning the sR^ishhTi and laya of the beings.

      With this the analysis of the word janmaadi is completed.

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