Siddhantabindu of Madhusudana Sarasvati---3

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6. Similarly, sentences such as, “Just as a big fish swims to both the banks, eastern and western, even so does this infinite entity move between the two states of dream and waking” (Br. Up. 4.3.18), which deal with the states of waking, dream and deep sleep, give the primary meaning of the word ‘thou’. Sentences such as “This entity which is identified with the intellect, which is amid the organs, and which is the effulgence within the heart” (Br. Up. 4.3.7), and “You cannot see the seer of sight” (Br. Up. 3.4.2), present the implied meaning of ‘thou’.

7. Since it is found that sentences such as ‘That thou art’ (which declare the identity of ‘that’ and ‘thou’) cannot logically apply to the entities denoted by the primary meanings of these terms, we naturally think of applying this identity to the pure, unconditioned jiva and Brahman, by having recourse to the implied (or secondary) meanings of these terms which are known from the subordinate sentences. This is also because it is accepted that it is the pure unconditioned witness consciousness that is experienced in deep sleep. Moreover, though the terms ‘reality’. ‘consciousness’, etc., which are intended to denote the non-dual Brahman can, by their primary meaning, denote the consciousness conditioned by the limiting adjuncts, they have their purport in the pure consciousness alone and so a mental impression arises only about that part (of the primary meaning, namely, pure conscious-ness).

Note-1: The omnipotent, omniscient, Creator (God) who is denoted by the primary meaning of the term ‘that’ as is known from the subordinate sentence “That from which all these beings are born”, (Tai.Up. 3.1.1) cannot obviously be identified with the jiva with limited power and limited knowledge who is denoted by the primary meaning of the term ‘thou’ as known from the subordinate sentence “Just as a big fish swims to both the banks, eastern and western, even so does this infinite entity move between the two states of dream and waking” (Br. Up. 4.3.18). We have therefore to take recourse to the implied meanings of these terms as known from the other two subordinate sentences reproduced earlier, namely. “Brahman is Reality, Consciousness and Infinite” (Tai.Up.2.1.1) and “This entity which is identified with the intellect, which is amid the organs, and which is the effulgence within the heart” (Br.Up. 4.3.7). The implied meaning of the term ‘that’ is unconditioned Brahman and the implied meaning of the term ‘thou’ is the individual self without the limiting adjuncts in the form of the body, mind and senses. These are identical, both being pure consciousness.

Note-2: In deep sleep the body, mind and senses are not experienced, but pure unconditioned consciousness exists as seen from the fact that when a person wakes up he says, “I slept happily, I did not know anything”. This recollection of happiness and total ignorance shows that pure consciousness without attributes existed during deep sleep and it alone was experienced.

8. Some (like the author of Nyayachintamani) hold the view that words like ‘akasa’ (ether) denote an attributeless entity, because the sense of a word depends on the intention (of the speaker).

Note: The idea is that, when even the word ‘akasa’ can give rise to the recollection of an entity without attributes, the word ‘Brahman’ which denotes a much subtler entity can certainly give rise to such a recollection. The recollection depends on the intention of the speaker, which is inferred from the context. For example, the word ‘saindhava’ means ‘salt’ as well as ‘horse’. When a person who is taking his meal asks for ‘saindhava’, the hearer understands from the context that he wants salt and not a horse.

9. By this (by accepting that it is the unconditioned Brahman that is the subject matter of the Mahavakya ‘That thou art’), it follows that the distinction of knower and known has no place in the understanding of the Mahavakya. This is supported by the fact that Asamprajnatasamadhi (in which the distinction of knower, knowing and known does not exist) is accepted by Sruti and Smrti.

Note: Asamprajnatasamadhi is described in Katha Upanishad, 2.3.10:-“When the five senses come to rest along with the mind, and the intellect too ceases to function, that is known as the supreme state”. In the Bhagavadgita this samadhi is described in 6.20: “When the mind, restrained through the practice of Yoga remains free from modifications, and when, seeing the Self with the mind one remains contented in the Self alone”.

10. The goal of life is not attained by the mere knowledge of the (primary) meanings of the terms ‘that’ and ‘thou’, because of imperceptibility (of the Creator) and multiplicity (of the jivas).

Note: There can be no identity between God who is the primary sense of ‘that’ and the individual jiva who is the primary sense of ‘thou’, because God is only one and cannot be known by the senses, and jivas are many and are actually perceived.

consciousness. So this sentence is described as non-relational.