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Teachings of Upanishad-3

For his part, Shwetaketu served the teacher for 12 years. The teacher taught him what he is qualified to teach. Now we can speculate whether Shwetaketu was unqualified to receive Brahm Vidyaa or the teacher was unqualified to teach him Brahmavidya. Either way, it is inconsequential. Uddaalak has offered to teach Shwetaketu Brahm Vidyaa; then
(1) Uddaalak is either cheating of his qualifications to teach Brahm Vidyaa or
(2) Uddaalak is unable to determine if Shwetaketu is qualified for Brahm Vidyaa.
Are you saying that Uddaalak is not a qualified teacher? Now tell me who is speculating?

Did Chhaandogya teach you that Roop is not real? If you think so, you are plainly wrong. Study Chhaandogya again. The same Chhaandogya also teaches, "treeni roopaani ityeva satyam". What will you do now, my friend? You need to correct what you have written on "Mrittikaa ityev satyam", keeping in view that the same Chhaandogya also teaches "Roopaani ityev satyam". You can't say anymore, Roop is unreal, only mud is the reality. Can you? According to the Chhaandogya, if mud is the reality then so is Roop. If Roop is unreality, then so is mud. Your way of translating it, is making Chhaandogya contradict itself. I would like you to study these two again, come back and write a reply without creating contradictions in your own knowledge of Chhaandogya. Are you going to do it? or are you going throw a bunch of angry words at me, like you have been doing? It is up to you. Good luck. My sincere hope is that we can have a more calmer conversation on Chhaandogya.

Here is a question: How much hypocritical one can be? I don't know, per se, the answer, but I can say with certainty, no body can match or exceed you.

Were you not thumping the table that "tat twam asi" is extracted from a Mantra and that the full Mantra says some thing else? Now you have no shame to cite a portion of the Chhaandogya Mantra and challenge me, that too not understanding the context. Let me call your bluff. Let me help you correctly understand this Mantra, which contains the phrase you have quoted "treeni roopaani ityev satyam" and show you how it is identical to "Mrittikaa ityev satyam". Here is the full Mantra.

- The red form of Agni is its radiance; the white form of Agni is water and the black form of Agni is that of earth (Anna is also translated as earth); The fireness is replaced by fire; modification is only in name, the three forms is real. (there are three more similar Mantra for other entities).

If you have not understood, the context of this Mantra, let me help you; it is the description of the process of Trivrutkaran. For those, who may not have come across this term, Trivrutkaran describes the process of subtle elements combining to form gross elements. We all know that there are five elements called the "Panchamahaabhoot" space, air, fire, water and earth. the process by which three of these combine to form a gross element is called Trivrutkaran (another process by which all the five elements combine to form a gross element is called Pancheekaran).

If a, b, and c are three subtle elements, and A, B, and C are the respective gross elements, then Trivrutkaran says A= 1/2a+1/4b+1/ 4c; Similarly B=1/2b+1/4a+ 1/4c and so on. Here A,B and C are the effect and a,b, and c are the cause. The above Mantra is telling us that a, b, and c are the real, with respect to A, B, and C (because they are the cause) and A, B and C are name only, they don't have an independent existence, only a modification. Thus Agni is a modification defined by a name, and radiance, water, and earth (the three forms) are real with respect to Agni - "treeni roopaani ityev satyam".

Now let us come to the Mantra "mrittikaa ityevasatyam". The pots and pans are effect, lump of mud is cause, lump of mud is real; pots and pans are name and form. In the case of lump of mud, one real and different names and forms like plate, cup etc. In the case of Agni, three real and one name and form only Agni. There is absolutely no contradiction.

Our friend Mr. Nelamangala has not understood either of the Mantra and is making no sense in stating that A-Dwait is creating contradictions in Chhaandogya. He also does not recognize that Chhaandogya preceded A-Dwaita and it has clearly laid out the basis of reality and names/forms.

Now coming back to you, Mr. Nelamangala; My friend, you are challenging me - Did Chhaandogya teach you that Roop is not real? If you think so, you are plainly wrong. Study Chhaandogya again.

Here is a Brahm Sootra that endorses the above Chhaandogya Mantra --
"There is non-difference of those (cause and effect) - on account of the texts about origin etc -
(The distinction can well exist as observed in common experience, but in reality, this difference does not exist, since a non-difference between those cause and effect is recognized "the effect is the universe, diversified as space etc., and the cause is the Supreme Brahman).

The Vedaant curve is drawn by Ved Vyaas. If you stay close to Ved Vyaas's teachings, there is no need to move any data points.

Ved Vyaas has drawn no curve neither a Dwait curve, nor an A-dwait curve. Where are you? His Brahma Sootra text is addressing apparent discrepancies in the Upanishad. The Sootra are terse aphorisms, most of the times even lacking a verb. It needs extreme scholarship of the Upanishad to interpret these aphorisms. Because of the nature of the Sootra, they can be bent to suit any commentator's philosophy; all the Aachaarya (as many as five or six) have written commentary on Brahm Sootra, that reflect their stated philosophy. Sorry, my friend, no one owns Ved Vyaas.

Nachiketaa who is Shwetaketu's brother, is a Uttamaadhikaaree for Gyaan. Study Kathopanishad. Yam somehow forgot to teach him "That thou art" - the greatest teaching on Earth, where as, his brother Shwetaketu who has no Vairaagya, no Guru-Bhakti on his Gurukul teachers, and had to be made to starve for 15 days to get the point across, such a Shwetaketu is your best candidate for teaching "That thou art"?

Vedaant is not a one size fits all solution? Yam knows that Nachiketaa is a graduate student and Uddaalak knows that Shwetaketu is a grade school student. Nachiketaa traveled all the way to Yam's place and was waiting at the door steps of Yam for three days. He rejected all worldly pleasures offered by Yam and demanded that he wanted That and only That. You yourself have recognized that Nachiketaa was a Uttamaadhikaaree. So why would you teach Nachiketaa "tat twam asi", when he is asking for "That (he already know she is "tat" and has gone to learn how to achieve "tat"). Are you belittling Yam, to expect him to teach Nachiketaa "tat twam asi"! Yam did the sensible thing of not teaching "Tat twam asi".  "Tat twam asi" is a grade school instruction to be taught only to Madhyamaadikaaree like Shwetaketu. Yam taught Nachiketaa advanced teachings in accordance with his Uttamaadhikaaratwa. Do you insult a Graduate student teaching him multiplication tables?

Go read the story of Satyakaam in Chhaandogya, he got almost no teaching from his teacher Haaridrumat, and yet the teacher declared him as Brahmavettaa. Don't do the mistake of asking why was not Satyakaam taught "Tat twam asi". This is where the Guru comes to help the student, my dear friend. He understands the intellectual / emotional makeup of the student and teaches him the appropriate curriculum to help the student advance in his goal.

If you want additional data point on how to treat a Guru, who may not be qualified, I would suggest you to review Shaanti Parv, chapter 57.

Ved Vyaas never used 'Tat twam asi' anywhere in his works. Obviously, he knew Chhaandogya too. Obviously he missed the Mahaa-Vaakya, in spite of the presence of Chhaandogya, in spite of him being the father of Vedaant. Because "Tat twam asi" is a settled issue and there is no apparent discrepancy in "Tat twam asi". It is about as settled as multiplication tables.

Ved Vyaas did not repeat many Mantra of many Upanishad. If this is your test for the validity of an Upanishad or Mantra, then you should be throwing away all these Upanishad.

Madhwa had to correct the "That thou art" interpretation of Chhaandogya, because, in the context of that Upanishad, it does not make any sense whatsoever to teach "That thou art" when both the theory and the 9 examples that follow all point to what is consistent with other Pramaan - Pratyaksh, Anumaan and Agam.

A great contribution! The A-paurusheyatwa of the Ved must be wondering how it got there, while turning in the grave!
If Madhwa thinks that Chhaandogya is in error to correct it, let us review Srisha Prasad's comments below :
He tries to artificially create a dichotomy of standards in Praamaanya, with himself as the arbiter. Then, as Madhwa points out, and as I believe to be perfectly correct, the sanctity of the scriptures themselves vanishes, since the Guru who decides which is worthwhile and which not, is above them both, and as then we might just as well use him as the Pramaan, instead of trying to pore thru scriptures most of which are supposed to lie. This is akin to saying that in a dictatorship, where the dictator decides which of the courts' decisions are valid and which not, we do not have a free judiciary, and we might as well go straight to the dictator and not bother with the courts, as what they say will not be the final word, anyhow. So let us throw all the Upanishad and be happy with the dictator? Is this double standard or hypocrisy?

You have been shouting of double standard? Now let me come also add that, if you recall, in my first message on this thread, I described the attributes of "tat", defined "twam" using the three states model and made a correlation between the attributes of "tat" and the experience of "twam" in the deep sleep state and explained how "tat twam asi" came together. In one of my subsequent messages, I asked that "atat"; and  "twam" be defined. Neither you nor anybody cared to respond. Probably it was below the scholarship of the Dwait Sampradaaya to define such lowly things as "atat" and "twam". I am still scratching my head" let me see if I can do it for you.

Vedaant is the study of the relationship between three entities - "(1) Eeshwar, generally described by "tat" in Vedaantik terminology, (2) Jeev, referred to as "twam" and (3) Jagat, denoted by "idam" or Jad.

Shree Madhwa had to correct "that thou art" of Chhaandogya to "non-that", "thou", "art". Let us stay with this for a moment (if you prefer to use "Not That" instead of "non-That", that is OK with me - not qualifies "That"; it cannot qualify "art".

In the Vedaantik context, "non-That" will mean either(1) "Jeev" or (2) "JaD" (because there are only three entities; if you rule out one, it has to be one of the other two). So rephrasing "non-that thou art" will yield one of these two possibilities.

(1) Jeev thou art" - This phrase may mean nothing and can be ignored; or if you get into technicalities, this may be a violation of the Jeev-Jeev Bhed of Dwait Siddhaant.
(2) "Jad thou art" - On one hand, I would advise you to mind your teeth (lest they be a victim); on the other hand it could again be a violation of the Jeev-Jad Bhed of Dwait Siddhaant.

Wait! There seems to be another problem. Looking from a higher plane (the proverbial 30,000 feet view), if you take away the Eeshwar from the equation, it may not be Vedaant any more. No body said relation between Jeev and Jad is Vedaant" it is Aparaa Vidyaa or secular knowledge. Unknowingly, you have > evicted yourself out of the Vedaant ball field and you are kicking air from the side lines, thinking it is the ball.

Please help the silent readers out of this conundrum and explain how "tat twam asi" is a Vedaantik statement, lest they may think it is a sentence in a Paperback novel. If you want to teach "That thou art", please teach it. But why dirty up Chhaandogya? Leave the Upanishad alone.

"That thou art" was taught long before A-Dwait ever came into picture. Somebody else did not leave the Upanishad alone though, and dirtied it up anyway!
No one is taking away anything that Shankar was able to achieve in a short span of 32 years.
We don't talk about personalities either. We only talk about Vedaant from the Prasthaan-traya, and the different schools of thoughts.
Oh! really? Let us look at the introduction by Srisha Rao in his posting on "Tat twam asi" / "atat tvam asi" I have reproduced that section below.
--In fact, as some of you may be aware, there is the famous story that Shankar himself recanted his life's work while on his death-bed, as he felt that in spite of his vast knowledge and intellect, he had left fatal flaws in the theory he propounded, and as he was then convinced that his erstwhile theory could not be supported -- he then composed the famous song "Bhaj Govindam," even though he had never bothered with worship throughout his life. While he was dying, he was asked by his concerned Shishya if the illness which was taking away his life at a young age was too painful -- he replied "rogo na baadhyate, sahayogo baadhyate" (the illness is not the obstruction, the togetherness [of the soul and Lord -- implying difference] is the obstruction) .

The question is this "how famous is this story? Is someone out to retell the history? When someone makes as serious a claim as above, it is only fair at a minimum to cite the source; in fact literary standards demand citation of all sources. One wonders if Srisha Rao, or Sri Madhwa or somebody in between was sitting in the mind of Shankar, so they observed his thoughts and are reporting so! So the burden is on the Dwait Sampradaaya to prove this story, or apologize if can't prove this non-sense.

All the reports of the life of Shankar, that I have come across, say the following with respect to the two events cited by Srisha Rao.

(1) Bhaj Govindam was composed by Shankar on witnessing an old man committing to memory, the rules of grammar. In the composition, he advises the old man of the futility of learning grammar at his age; instead to focus his mind on Govind so that he could succeed in liberation, in this life itself, reflecting the sentiment of the Geetaa verse --

"Whosoever leaves the body, thinking of what-so-ever object, form or being, he reaches that only)"

What a compassion? What a teacher? The teaching was appropriate to "amandhamaadhikaaree" the old man did not have time on his side in his life, to do any Saadhanaa; so to help him achieve Moksh, taught him the fastest way for liberation, to think of Govind, so he could reach Govind. Anyone, who understands the verses of Bhaj Govindam clearly understands the emotion of the verses "It is not remorse as claimed by Srisha Rao. How much non-sense one can write?

(2) He disappeared in to the Himaalayan range near Kedaar and never returned. He is supposed to have lef this body in the caves. To my knowledge, there is no record of a death bed, unless Srisha Rao or the likes was an eye witness.

If Ved Vyaas teaches "Om bhed vyapadeshaat Om" and "Om bheda vyapdeshaat cha anyaha Om", A-Dwait teaches quite the opposite in "jeevo brahmaiv Naaparaha". "Bheda vyapadeshaat" because of the assertion of difference.

Wow! Let us not get excited at the sight of the word Bhed, to mean duality. This Sootra appears in the "Anandamayaadhikaran".  I am Aanand" is a statement of experience; to that extent duality is still implied. So all the Sootra is saying is that, for an ignorant person, Bhed between Jeevaatmaa and Paramaatmaa is asserted.
Brihadaaranyak Mantra
A-drishto drishtaa ashrutah shrotaa, A-vijnyaato vijnyaataanaanyah ato asti drishtaa naanyah ato asti shrot.. upholds this.

"ananya prokte gatiratra naasti" of the Kathopanishad, has denied identity between Jeevaatmaa and Paramaatmaa in no uncertain terms.

It appears to me that you are an expert in mis-quoting the Shaastra. Again, you are quoting a partial Mantra. Let us see what is "Ananya Prokta". Ananya means not different "not seeing that he is different from Aatmaa. If such a person "prokta = declares or recognizes", ie. If a person who does not see himself as different from Atman (that he is a realized person), then there is no "gati = need for knowing anything" - there is no need to know anything.

My friend, where is Jeevaatmaa and Paramaatmaa described here? And if so, how does it relate to "gatiratra naasti"? Can you explain this to your silent readers?

We have accepted "Vyaasaaya vishmuroopaa ya vyaas roopaaya vishnave". You seem to be struggling with that idea. Following Vedopanishad/ Geetaa /Sootra, we do not distinguish betwee none form of Vaidik God with another form of Vaidik God.

I have no struggle of any kind; I am glad to note that you are gravitating towards "tat twam asi".

Here is where you need to articulate properly, not just making a statement like Following Vedopanishad / Geetaa /Sootra, we do not distinguish between one form of Vaidik God with another form of Vaidik God.

Visnnu, Indra, Varun, Agni etc  are generally recognized as Vaidik gods. Ved and Upanishad preceded Vyaas and so, did not identify Vyaas as a Vaidik god as such. Equating him as Vaidik god is out of place. He is the son of Paraashar and Satyavatee; so he is generally a human being like you and me, at least in that form. Believe me, Ved Vyaas is as much esteem to me, as you recognize, but my frame of reference is different.

What does "Vyaasaaya vishnuroopaaya vyaasaroopaaya vishnave" mean? - Vyaas is of the form of Vishnu ; Vyaas form is also Vishnu; this statement says about what is common between them. This commonness is "tat twam asi". From this also, we can conclude "Nelamangalaaya vishnuroopaaya Nelamangala roopaaya vishnave".

The only difference between these two statements is that Vyaas vishnuroopaaya is "tat twam asi" realized and Nelamangalaaya vishnu roopaaya" is "tat twam asi" potential. My dear friend, go realize "tat".



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/05
Updated on 12/19/12