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Part 7-Experiencing Bhagavat Ramanuja Yatiraja's Divine Works

From: M.S.HARI (Madabhushi Sarangarajan Hari) (mshari_at_www.usa.net)
Date: Wed Aug 02 2000 - 22:09:23 PDT

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Part 7 - Experiencing Bhagavat Ramanuja Yatiraja's Divine Works
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Shree BhAshyakAra who is Bhagavat Ramanuja Yatiraja in his Vedaartha sangraha
ascertains the purport of the verse "Tat Tvam Asi". The greatest AchArya has
established the meaning of the same verse such that no other meaning can be
assigned to it other than what our AchArya has ascertained. A matham, which
classified it as a "Maha vAkyam" and built its own interpretation "nirvisesha
chin mAtram brahma" is proved to be not in accordance with the Veda. The
"Sruthi virOdha Darsanam" in "Brahma-AgnyAna Paksham - Advaita" continues in
vEdArtha Sangraha grantam where Bhagavath Ramanuja Yatiraja proves that
Adviatam is not in accordance with the Veda.

Now a basic question arises! - Why should we refute other philosophical
schools of thoughts? The answer is simple. We do not have any intention to
hurt other people's feelings by refuting their philosophical school of
thought. Our intention is only to ascertain that the only purport of
apowrushEya Veda is Visistaadvaita Shree Vaishnavam and it is the only
logically correct philosophy that has got universal approach that is not at
all a sectarian philosophical school of thought. It is to be noted that in
debates, arguments and counter-arguments favoring something and refuting
another thing is very common and is the basis to ascertain theories based on a
premise. One should not get simply offended on hearing such refutations. When
there is an argument, the counter-argument should be appropriate and precise
otherwise the counter-argument never gets qualified to be a counter-argument.
Unless and until the arguments and counter-arguments are well substantiated
with PramaNams, they have no validity. The "Sapta-Vidhaanupapathi" which will
continue after this "Sruthi virOdha Darsanam" in "Brahma-AgnyAna Paksham" will
clearly establish that Advaita is not only contradicting the Veda but also
logic and rational thoughts. Bhagavath Ramanuja is explaining the "Sruthi
NyAyApEtam Jagati Vitatam Mohanam" (Please refer the second mangala slokam of
vEdArtha Sangaraha Grantham).

The Upanishad says 'san mOlA: sOyEmA: sarvA: prajA: sadAyathanA:
sathprathishtA:' All entities (san mOlA:) are having (Sat) Brahman as their
material cause (upAdAna kAraNam) and efficient cause (nimiththa kAraNam). All
entities (sathprathishtA:) are having their reality (substance) (swarUpam),
continuance of existence (sthithi) and end (layam) totally dependant on
Brahman. (Here the "end" does not mean the non-existence of all chit-achit
entities). Shree Bhashyakara explains the above using the terms "SadAdhAratA",
"SanniyAmyatA", "SatseshatA" meaning, "Purushothama: ShrIman NarayaNa: is the
Sat-Brahman who is the unparalleled and unsurpassed supporter, controller and
owner (Lord) of all chit and achit entities. 

The Upanishad before telling the celebrated verse "Tat Tvam Asi" has something
to tell before it and it is "ithadAtmiyam idam sarvam" "tat satyam" "sa:
AtmA". 

"ithadAtmiyam idam sarvam" the term "ithadAtmiyam" is derived as "Esha: AtmA
yasya tat EthatadAthmakam EthadAthmakamEva ithadAtmiyam". The universe (all
chit and achit entities) was created by the sankalpam (wish) of Brahman and
therefore the Brahman is the cause of the universe. As the Brahman is the only
supporter (AdhAra), controller (NiyAmaka) and lord (seshi) of all entities, he
is the "AtmA" of the universe. "tat satyam" means whatever told here is the
truth. "Sa: AtmA" means that the Brahman is the soul of everything and the
universe is the body of Brahman. The Sat (Brahman) who is the kAraNa is the
soul "AtmA" of the universe. This explicitly brings out the "SarIra-AtmA"
(body-soul) relationship between the universe and the Brahman. Thus the father
(UdAlaka) cleared the doubt of his son (Swetaketu) and concluded with
confirming the "SarIra-AtmA-Sambandam" between the universe and the Brahman by
stating "Tat Tvam Asi SwethaketO". The term "Tvam" (you) first denotes the
jIvAtman through the form of Swethaketu and then finally denotes ParamAtman
(Brahman-Sat) - the Upanishad has told first that the entire universe is
having the Brahman ("Tat" which is the only cause of the universe) as its soul
and then finished its sermon in this regard through denoting the same Brahman
by his mode of having a jIvAtman (here Swethaketu) as his body. This is the
meaning of the verse "Tat Tvam Asi".

Now a debate starts. A question in the form of objecting this meaning of the
verse as told above is considered. "Why not the  ithadAtmiyam idam sarvam be
taken to mean the SwarUpa-iykyam (identity/oneness of reality-substance)  of
Achit and Brahman? Why not the tat tvam asi be taken to mean again the
SwarUpa-iykyam (identity/oneness of reality-substance) of Chit (jIvAtAtman)
and Brahman?" 

The question is answered and the objection is overruled as follows: First of
all, idam sarvam cannot be taken to denote only achit because sarvam means all
the chit and achit entities that are existing. Therefore restricting the
meaning of sarvam only to achit is baseless. Idam sarvam asrujata, sachcha
tyachcha abhavath in Veda does not allow us to restrict the meaning of the
term sarvam. Let us now clearly do an analysis to answer this question and
dismiss the objection as follows:

When the Veda tells "ithadAtmiyam", is it because of swarUpa-iykyam or because
of the "SarIra-Atma" relationship? The question is answered as follows:

If suppose, someone advocates the swarUpa-iykyam of Achit and Brahman, then it
can be established that it is not the purport of the Veda verse. This is
because, if swarUpa-iykyam is to be admitted, then the "achEtanatvam" (devoid
of being knowledge-self-reality, thus devoid of swayamprakAsatvam and devoid
of attribute-knowledge) will have to be applicable for Brahman! On the other
hand, the Upanishad has stated that the Brahman has divine characteristics
like "Satya Sankalpatvam" (tat ikshata bhahusyAm prajAyEya). It has denoted
the Brahman (Sat) by using the term "AtmA". Therefore if swarUpa-iykyam is
admitted in Achit and Brahman, then the Veda verses stating divine
characteristics like "Satya Sankalpatvam" of Brahman gets contradicted.
Further the Achit is having vikAratvam (changing nature). On the other hand
Brahman is NirvikAra tatva (unchanging nature). 

In the same manner if the swarUpa-iykyam in Chit and Brahman is admitted, then
again the same contradiction with the Veda verses results because, the
jIvAtman (Chit) is subject to evils in samsara like being bound by his own
karma, vidhi etc. On the other hand, the Veda has stated that the Brahman is
without any evil attributes and is with infinite divine attributes. Therefore
the swarUpa-iykyam in chit, achit and Brahman is not at all possible.

Even if someone still stresses on swarUpa-iykyam, then it can be clearly
proved that swarUpa-iykyam is not the purport of the Veda here because the
Veda verses like "antha: pravishta: sAstA janAnAm sarvAthmA" and "ya: Atmani
tishtan AthmanOnthara:" gets contradicted if such swarUpa-iykyam is considered
as the purport. "antha: pravishta: sAstA janAnAm sarvAthmA" means that Vishnu
is the supreme controller (antaryami-antarAtma) entered inside all and present
inside all entities. "ya: Atmani tishtan AthmanOnthara:" also conveys the same
meaning. The antar-bhahir vyApthis (the pervading nature of Vishnu outside and
inside everything) has to be clearly understood here through the
sarIra-Atma-bhAva. 

Another objection arises in this context. It is as follows: "The
swarUpa-iykyam was dismissed by quoting verses from some other portion of the
Veda. Why not the swarUpa-iykyam be admitted here in Sat-Vidya?" The objection
is overruled very easily because the swarUpa-iykyam is not the purport as the
same Sat-Vidya has clearly told the sarIra-Atma-bhava by "anena jIvEna
AtmanAnupravisya". Therefore the swarUpa-iykyam is totally ruled out.

A Concept called "sAmAnAdhikaraNyam" which is a technical grammatical concept,
is used to explain the verse "Tat Tvam Asi" clearly. 

"sAmAnAdhikaranayam" means "co-ordinate predication". It means that
co-ordinate predicate terms are used to identify the substantive. 

The great grammarian of Sanskrit has defined this concept "SAmAnAdhikaraNyam"
as follows:
"Bhinna Pravruththi NimiththAnAm sAbdAnAm Ekasmin Arthe Vruththi: -
SAmAnAdhikaraNyam".

The meaning of this is as follows: An entity is signified/denoted by several
terms, each term denoting that entity based on each of its various inseparable
attributes. That is different words possessing different grounds of meanings
denoting a single entity is what is called "SAmAnAdhikaraNyam" The reader may
find this bit confusing. Let me explain it using an example. Please consider
in Sanskrit the terms "nIla: ghata:" meaning "Dark Pot". Here the term "nIla:"
is denoting the entity by that entity's inseparable attribute
"Darkness/Blackness". The Term "ghata:" again denotes the same entity by its
nature of having narrow neck and broad spherical body. Therefore the "nIla:"
term denotes the entity on the ground of meaning "Darkness" "nIla Roopam"
which is an attribute/mode of the entity. Similarly the "ghata:" term denotes
the same entity (Pot) on the ground of the entity's mode of being
narrow-necked with broad spherical body. 

The verse of the Veda "Tat Tvam Asi" is understood clearly using the concept
of "SAmAnAdhikaraNyam" as follows: The term "Tat" (that) denotes the Brahman
on the grounds of "being the only cause of the universe", who is having
infinite divine characteristics and untouched by all impurities. The term
"Tvam" (you) denotes the same Brahman on the grounds of having the jIvAtman
(Chit) as his attribute/mode/body. Therefore the Sareera-Aatma Bhaavam
(Body-Soul relationship) between the Universe and the Brahman is clearly told
by the Upanishad.

Bhagavath Ramanuja Yatiraja says :-
atha: sarvasya chidachidvastunO brahmasarIratvAth, sarvasarIram sarvaprakAram
sarvairsabdai: brahmaivAbhidhIyatha ithi, "tat" "tvam" ithi sAmAnAdhikaraNyEna
jIvasarIrathayA jIvaprakAram brahmaivAbhihitam | Evamabhihite sathi ayamarthO
jgnyAyate "tvam" ithi ya: pOrvam dehasyAdhishtAtrutayA pratIth: sa:
paramAthmasarIrathayA paramAthmaprakArabhUtha: paramAthmaparyantha: pruthak
stithi pravruthi anarha: atha: "tvam" ithi sabda: tathprakAravisishtam
thdantaryAmiNamEvAchashtE - ithi | anEna jIvEnAthmanAnupravisya nAmarUpe
vyAkaravANi" ithi brahmAthmakathayaiva jIvasya sarIriNa: swanAmaBhakthvAth | 

Following the definition of sAmAnAdikaraNya, please follow the divine words of
Bhagavath Ramanuja Yatiraja as follows which were outlined so far.

"tat tvam" ithi samAnAdhikaraNa pravrththayO: dvyayOrapi padayO: brahmaiva
vAchyam | 

tatra "tat" padam 
.. jagat kAraNa bhUtham
.. sarva kalyANa guNakaram
.. niravadyam
.. nirvikAramAchashtE

"tvam" ithi cha - tadEva brahma jIvAntaryAmi rUpENa swasarIra jIva prakAra
visishtamAchashtE

tadEvam pravruthi nimiththa bhEdena Ekasmin brahmaNyEva "tat tvam" ithi dyayO:
padayO: vruthiruktthA | brahmaNO niravadyatvam nirvikAratvam
sarvakalyaNaguNAkaratvam jagat kAraNatvam cha abhAdhitam

As told clearly above, the Brahman has all the chit and achit entities as his
body & as inseparable attribute and the Brahman being the AtmA of all, all
words (sabdams) denote the Brahman. The sarIra-AtmA relationship establishes
the sAmAnAdhikaraNyam. The term "Tvam" which denotes the jIvAtman through his
body, finally denotes the ParamAtman (Brahman) because the jIvAtman is the
body and inseparable attribute (apruthak siddha viseshaNam) of ParamAtman. The
jIvAtman being the body and inseparable attribute of Brahman, has no
independent swarUpam, stithi and pravruthis. The jIvAtman is totally dependant
on Brahman. The "anena jIvEna" verse makes it clear that the jIvAtman gets his
name etc., only because of having the Brahman as his AtmA. Therefore to stress
again that swarUpa-iykyam is not the purport here, the sAmAnAdhikaraNyam is
explained. 

The terms "tat" and "tvam" though are two different words, denote/mean the
same entity that is Brahman as follows. The terms "tat" and "tvam" denote only
the Brahman but the way in which each term denotes the Brahman is different.
The term "tat" denotes the Brahman who is the only cause of the universe,
untouched by impurities and having infinite divine attributes and is always
unchanging in nature. The term "tvam" also denotes the same Brahman who has
the jIvAtman as his body/attribute - the Brahman is the antaryAmi-antarAtma of
the jIvAtman. Thus the two terms denote the Brahman by different attributes
which the Brahman has as told above. The sAmAnAdhikaraNyam is thus clearly
explained. When the purport of the verse is ascertained like this, there is no
contradiction with all the sruthi verses. The attributes of Brahman like being
the only cause of the universe, untouched by impurities, having infinite
divine attributes, unchanging nature are unaffected. 

There seems to be few questions in the form of objecting the above
ascertaining of the purport even after these explanations. The objection is
"Though the explanation is appreciable, a person can understand only the words
denoting the respective entities. For example, the word "ghata:" (pot) denotes
only a vessel having narrow neck with large almost spherical body. These terms
just stop with denoting the respective entities. When such is the case how is
it possible to say that all terms finally end up in denoting Brahman? Also the
"vyutpathti" (a means to derive the word in Sanskrit) does not exist in all
terms to denote Brahman. When such is the case how is it possible to say that
all terms finally denote Brahman?"

The question (objection) is having validity. But it is not negating the
purport or proving something against the purport. He who has not studied and
comprehended the VedAnta properly just sees all the words to denote only the
respective entities, which he has conceived so. But he who has studied and
comprehended the VedAnta properly gets the correct knowledge that the Brahman
is the soul of everything and all the entities are the body of Brahman.
Therefore only this person who has studied and comprehended the VeDAnta
properly sees that all words do not just stop with denoting the respective
entities but actually end up in denoting the Brahman who is the soul of all
entities. A person just "sees" the Sandal wood by his eyes from a distance. He
cannot sense its good fragrance because he has not used his nose, but he says
that Sandal wood has no fragrance. Is it acceptable? The Sandal wood surely
has fragrance. It just indicates that the appropriate sense organ was not
employed to sense it. If he uses his nose, he can surely sense the fragrance.
That is all. Similarly those who have knowledge imparted by the VedAnta
comprehends that all words denote Brahman because Brahman has all entities as
its attributes/body/mode. Without the vedAnta, it is not possible to know the
Brahman. The Brahman is not possible to be known and established by any other
pramAna other than the sruthi. Only the apowrusheya sruthi establishes and
imparts knowledge regarding the Brahman who is Purushoththama: SrIman
NarayaNa: VishNu: vAsudeva:

Regarding "vyutpathti", our AchArya says that the above explanation does not
negate the power of word and meaning of words by "vyutpathti". By the verse
"anEna jIvEna", it was already told that all the words denotes first the
respective entity by its visible form, then the jIvAtman and then the
ParamAtman who is the soul of everything. The meaning of telling that "all
words denote the Brahman" has to be clearly understood as follows: All words
denote the Brahman who is having all the chit and achit entities as his
attributes. The Brahman is different from all chit and achit entities as the
Brahman is the soul and all chit and achit entities are his body. The
"vyutpathti" gives only the partial meaning. The Vedanta knowledge along with
this knowledge of "vyutpathti" ascertains that the "vyutpathti" gets completed
and all words finally denote Brahman as told above.

Another argument is considered. "Why not the words be classified into two - 1.
Lowkika and 2. Vaidika. Lowkika being common words and vaidika being words of
Veda. Why not the Vaidika words alone be taken as per the above view to denote
Brahman and why not the lowkika be taken to denote the respective entities?"
Bhagavath Ramanuja says that "VaidikA Eva sarvE sabdA:" meaning all the words
are based on Veda only. The Veda is anAdi (having no beginning) and the words
of it are also anAdi. In each cycle of creation, the Brahman creates various
entities as they were in previous cycle and gives the names to the various
created entities from the Veda as it was in the previous cycle. This cycle is
also anAdi. The Veda has confirmed that all words (as told above) denote the
Brahman. Manu and ParAsara have also explained the same in their smruthies. 

Further Bhagavath Ramanuja Yatiraja makes it clear that the created universe
is a reality. Nothing is unreal. All the three entities namely chit, achit and
Brahman are eternal and real entities. Up to this, using the kAraNa vAkyAs, it
was established that the Brahman is only "Savisesham". The chOdaka vAkyAs are
now considered and it is proved that they also established the Brahman as
"Savisesham" meaning "having attributes/characteristics".

"Satyam jgnyAnam anantam", "nirguNam nishkriyam sAntham niravadyam",
"satyakAma: satya sankalpa:", "apahata pApmA vijara:" are such chOdaka vAkyAs.
When "Satyam jgnyAnam anantam", "satyakAma: satya sankalpa:" etc., explicitly
state that the Brahman is having infinite divine attributes, the verses
"nirguNam nishkriyam" etc., say that the Brahman has no attributes. Actually
when the ghataka sruti "apahata pApmA vijara:" etc are understood, then it
gets ascertained very clearly that all the chOdaka vAkyAs explain that Brahman
is only "Savisesham". When the verses like "satyakAma:" talk about the
infinite divine qualities of Brahman which are unique to Brahman, the verses
like "nirguNam" tell that the Brahman is devoid of evil attributes. "Satyam
jgnyAnam anantam" clearly and explicitly declares that Brahman is
"Savisesham". "Satyam" means that the Brahman has quality of being unchanging
in nature, natural independent existence. "JgnyAnam" means that the Brahman
has infinite unchanging JgnyAna (knowledge) as his nature and knows
everything. The SwayamprakAsatvam is also told here. "Anantam" states that the
Brahman is immesurable, infinite and is beyond the limits of length, time and
mass. Therefore the verse "Satyam jgnyAnam anantam" explains the Brahman as
Purushothtama: SrIman nArAyaNa: who is different from all the three types of
chit and achit entities.

Then Bhagavath Ramanuja Yatiraja proceeds to explain in detail the Advaita's
interpretation of "tat tvam asi". Bhagavath Ramanuja Yatiraja establishes that
the interpretation of Advaita has four important errors and Advaita's
interpretation of "tat tvam asi" is therefore invalid. The four important
errors in Advaita's philosophy as far as this verse is concerned are 1. The
Sruthi telling infinite divine qualities of Brahman (tat) gets contradicted.
2. There is a need to tell "lakshaNa" (a technical concept) unnecessarily for
"tat" and "tvam". 3. SAmAnAdhikaraNyam gets violated 4. Upakrama VirOdham
arises. These aspects will be explained in detail in future postings.

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To be continued.. .
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Thanks & Regards
M.S.HARI Ramanuja Daasan.

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