Author Topic: Conclusion of the first suutra  (Read 451 times)

Dr. Sadananda

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Conclusion of the first suutra
« on: February 27, 2015, 12:46:39 PM »
Conclusion of the first suutra


      The final topic of the first suutra is conclusion. In the conclusion, the same concepts are discussed in a technical format in which the Brahmasuutra should be presented.

      This may be more of an academic interest, but is worth knowing the format used. Hence no new ideas will be discussed in this section other than following a technical format for the presentation of suutra literature. One can read as review of the topic.

      In the introduction we mentioned that topics are discussed under the heading of 'adhikaraNam'. In the first adhikaraNam there is only one suutra and appropriately named as jij~naasaa adhikaraNam based on the first suutra 'athaato brahma jij~naasaa'. Every adhikaraNam has to be presented in a format that includes five factors starting from vishhaya as outlined in the definition sloka given in the Notes I of Brahmasuutra. These are 1. vishhayaH, the subject matter, 2. vishayaH or sa.nshayaH or doubt, 3 puurvapakshaH, the view of an opponent, 4. sidhhantaH, our conclusions and 5. sangatiH, the connection of this topic with the overall. This format is called adhikaraNa nirNayaH and Shankara follows this format with each adhikaraNa.

      For the jij~naasaadhikaraNam, the subject matter is Vedanta shaastram. The doubt is VichaaraNiiyam vaa or na vichaaraNiiyam vaa', whether it should be studied or is it worth studying or not worth studying? Should we receive this notes or not, or even if we receive it, 'as some one complained recently that we are dumping on his head', is it worth studying now, delete it or store it in a file to study later as it is not of high priority right now; or complain that we are unnecessarily targeted with something that we are not interested and these is a violation of a law, etc.? These are doubts that need to be resolved. The third factor is the puurvapakshaH - the view of an opponent that should be presented along with his reasoning as anumaanam. For example, we can present a puurvapaksha in anumaana vaakyam as:

      'vedaanta shaastram na vichaaraNiiyam, anubandha chatushhTaya abhaavaat, vyatirekeNa dharma shaastravat.h |'
     
      vedaanta shaastram should not be studied, since it does not have anubandha chatushhTayam, unlike dhramashaastra.

      Therefore according to a puurvapakshii, there is no anubandha chatushhTayam (the four-fold requirements starting from adhikaarii etc $(H s(Bee Anubandha chatushhTayam, Notes I-I-1-1A). In brief, this puurvapakshi argues first that no adhikaari is ever possible. This is because viveka is impossible, vairaagya no one has it, shama aadi shaTkasampatti nobody seems to have it, including the so-called great sages of the lore who cursed left and right, and nobody seems to have the intense desire for moksha, the mumukshutvam. Hence saadhanachatushhTaya sampatti is asambhavam or impossible. Hence there is no one who is adhikaarii.There is no student who is qualified to study - such students are available only in the books like kaThopanishhad and not in this world and definitely not in this kaliyuga, when dharma is only on one leg.

      Thus, the first factor in the anubandha chatushhTayam, i.e. a qualified student, is not there.

      We have problem also with the second factor i.e. subject matter - Brahman - we are consistently discussing pages and pages about a hare's horn, which is not there. How can there be a nirguNam vastu at all for one to inquire about. And if we ask the question how to know it, the answer we get is that ' we cannot know it' - and upanishhad in fact declares that 'he who knows it knows not!' It is different from the known and at the same time different from the unknown, one cannot see it, hear it, speak about it or think about it -and at the same time pages and pages are written about that which is unthinkable and unspeakable. From all this, it is very clear that it is just consistent brain washing. There is no such thing as Brahman and it is just mere bhrama of the student and the teacher.

      The teacher is confused and transmitting that confusion to his student using very high sounding Sanskrit words which are self contradictory with no substance, saying on one side 'He is smaller than the smallest' and with the same breath contradicting that statement by saying that 'He is bigger than the biggest'. And some say He is aatmaa, but no aatmaa has been found anywhere in any body by anybody. You say it is consciousness, there appears to be no independent consciousness. Matter alone seems to be independent and consciousness seems to depend on matter for its existence rather than other way around. If you have any doubts look into discussions on advaitin list serve during the months of August. Consciousness seems to be an illusion happening in matter rather than the other way around. Hence there is no such thing as Brahman or aatman and therefore there is no subject matter to inquire into. Hence adhikaarii naasti, vishhaya naasti - what about prayojanam - when Brahman himself is not there what prayojanam we can talk about. It is like the story in 'Emperor's clothes'!. Hence vedaanta shaastram na vichaaraNiiyam - says the puurvapakshi.

      siddhaanta anumaanam says, vedaanta shaastram vichaaraNiiyam, anubandha chatushhTaayavatvaat, dharma shaastravat. anubandha chatushhTaya is there. This means adhikaarii is there, vishhaya, the subject matter is there and prayojanam and sambandha are also there.

      Just because adhikaari-s are few, one cannot say adhikaari-s are nil. This is true any time including in Krishna's time as declared in Geeta - manushhyaaNaam sahasreshhu kashchit yatati siddhaye | - Of the thousands of people very few are really interested in this Brahma vidya.. Hence adhikaari-s are always few in number but not nil as puurvapakshi claims. Similarly Brahman is there, since it happens to be yourself. How can you negate Brahman? Brahman negation is self-negation. Everyone knows that they are not mere matter - this is my body, my mind and my intellect - the very statements indicate that I am different from this body, this mind and this intellect. I do not know who I am, yet I know I exist and I am conscious. I enliven the body but body does not enliven me. People say when someone dies that 'he is dead and gone', implying that he is something different from the body to go somewhere else after the death. I am not an object for someone to see, hear, feel or touch. I am the very subject because of which the capacity to hear, feel, think, etc. are possible in the enlivened matter. Only objects have attributes or guNa-s, but I am not an object. I am the very subject because of which objects are revealed or illumined by my consciousness. I can not deny myself since I have to be there even to deny myself. I can negate everything but cannot negate myself.

      Hence I am the one who remains as the very substratum for every thing. Brahman is not something different from me. Hence he is not an object to have attributes. He is the very subject that I am.

      Hence Brahman inquiry is the inquiry of the nature of one's own self and thus the vishhaya of the Vedanta suutra-s. Prayojanam is also there since it is moksha. It is freedom that I am inherently longing for in all my pursuits in life. There are always some realized souls existing at a given time even in this kaliyuga. Therefore sambandha also exists. Hence the anubandha chatushhTaya is there, hence Vedanta is vichaaraNiiyam, to be studied. Thus siddhaanta in the adhikaraNa list is given.

      The last requirement is sangatiH - the connection with the other topics, particularly with the previous topics. Since this is the first adhikaraNam, there is no connection to previous topic. Since this adhikaraNam consists of the very first suutra, which is anubandha or preface, it emphasizes the central theme of the whole text as the inquiry of the nature of Brahman. By specifying the pre-requisites for a student, it connects all other knowledge required for a student to possess as the pre-requisites. This completes the sangatiH and also the conclusion part of our analysis.

      With this the analysis of the first suutra is over.

      (A note: For Shankara the most of the puurvapakshi's are non-vedantins, consisting of both aastika group and naastika group.

      Post Shankara bhaashhyakaara-s, such as Shree Raamaanuja and Shree Madhva have included Advaita philosophy as their puurvapaksha, in fact their main puurvapaksha, since they have to reckon with the most prevailing philosophy of their times, which is advaita, before they establish their siddhaanta. It is fruitful to go into the discussion of their major discussion of advaita and their objections to it. But we will first complete Shankarabhaashhya so that we are better equipped to address the issues that they have raised. )