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Re: PramAnas for Brahman as being different from its Body

From: Mani Varadarajan (
Date: Fri Apr 28 2000 - 17:29:41 PDT

Sri Anand cited the JitantE Stotram and added a translation:

>    " na tE rUpam na ca aakArO na-aayudhAni na ca-aaspadam |
>      tathApi purusha-AkArO  bhaktAnAm tvam prakASasE || "
>   " You <in ds>  donot have any physical qualities such as white or
>      black (rUpa) ; You <in ds> do not possess any physical organs
>      such as head or legs (aakAra) ; nor are there any weapons or
>      ornaments on You < in ds> (aayudha) ; nor do You have an
>      abode <ie. ds being all pervading, there is no specific abode
>      by which Brahman's presence is limited>; Neverthless out of
>      Your infinite compassion towards devotees <who can't
>      comprehend and reciprocate with You as ds>, You manifest
>      Yourself with a lusturous bodily form bedecked with ornaments
>      and weapons in an abode of Yours < Be it arcAvatAra, vibhava
>      avatAra etc>".

While the provided meaning is not inappropriate, 
Sri Periyavaaccaan Pillai gives a very different interpretation,
which I feel in some ways is more in line with the text. He 
takes "na tE" as meaning "not for you", rather than "you do
not have". This is perfectly valid according to Sanskrit
usage and grammar. Furthermore, he takes "rUpa" not to mean
"form" but "svarUpa" or "essence", with the idea that otherwise
there would be a redundancy in the usage "AkAra" immediately
after, which very clearly means a defined form.

Given this, a translation according to Sri PVP's commentary
would be:

    Your divine essence if not for you, nor is your form,
    nor are your weapons, nor is your divine abode; rather
    they are manifested by you for the sake of your
    beloved devotees.

This avoids the problem of first saying that the Lord does
not have a form, etc., and then saying that he manifests it.

I find this interpretation a notch more appropriate -- and
what more should we expect from Swami PVP?

aDiyen raamaanuja daasan

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           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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