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Response to "Info Required: Verse from Svetasvataropanishad":Part I

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Tue Feb 26 2002 - 19:24:12 PST


Srimathe RaamAnujAya namaha

Dear SrI Malolan Cadambi:

As always, you ask some deep questions.
(The question is at the end of my introductory note)
Your (SrI MalOlan's) qustion is thought provoking.

To answer your question, one has to understand
the uniqueness of SvEtAsvatara Upanishad and
how Sage SvEtAsvatara grappled with the complex
doctrines , which some times appear to be close to
Advaita , SaankyA , Dvaita and VisishtAdvaitha 
and developed a unique approach to understand them
and gave his own views that fit well in the overall
perspective with the VisishtAdvaithisc darsanam.
Sage SvEtAsvatArA's mind is classified as a synthetic 
mind resolving the conflict of discordant views 
in vogue at the time of its creation . The Upanishad
has six chapters and 113 manthrams .

This Upanishad belonging to Krishna Yajur vedA has to be 
studied in its entriety ( all the 113 manthrAs).It is not
as ancient as ChAndhOgya and BruhadAraNya and other 
major Upanishads used by the commentators of Brahma Soothrams.
AchArya RaamAnujA refers to passages of this Upanishad 
atleast 22 times in His SrI BhAshyam . ChaandhOgyam
gets ofcourse enormous attention in SrI BhAshyam along
with BrahadAraNyakam .

"Upanishad BhAshyakArar" has given us the VishishtAdvaithic 
intrepretation of this Upanishad. Vaikunta Vaasi
U.Ve. Abhinava Desika UtthamUr Swamy has commented on
this Upanishad following the BhAshyam of Upanishad
BhAshyakArar (SrI Ranga RaamAnuja Muni of 16th century).
UttamUr Swamy's Tamil monograph is known as "Upanishad Saaram". 
There is an English commentary by Swamy ThyagIsAnandA of
Sri Raamakrishna Mutt of  Mylapore. Dr.S.M.S Chari is
in the middle of writing a monograph on the Upanishads
as intrepreted by different darsanams .That will be
a valuable work just like his comparitive analysis
on the Brahma Soothram commentaries by AchArya 
RaamAnuja , Adhi Sankara and Ananda Theertha. 
Dr.S.M.S Chari concludes in the  above monograph 
that SrI BhAshyam of AchArya RaamAnujA reflects 
closely the views of Sage BaadarAyaNa.

I will summarize the VisishtAdvaithic intrepretation of
SvEthAsvathara Upanishad following closely the text of
SrI Abhinava Desikan in a series of six postings .

You referred to the Third manthram of the First chapter
in your query:

thE dhyAna-yOgAnugathA: apasyan
dEvAthma sakthim svaguNair-nigUDAm
Ya: kaaraNAni nikhilAni thAni
kaalAthma-yukthAni adhithishtathi yEka:

Swamy ThyAgIsA's translates the above manthram this way:
" Practising the method of meditation , they realized
that BEING , who is the God of religions, the Self of
philosophy and the Energy of Science ; who exists as 
the self-luminous power in every one; who is the source of 
intellect, emotions and will;who is ONE WITHOUT A SECOND;
who presides over all the causes enumerated above, 
beginning with time and ending with the individual soul;
and who had been incomprehensible because of the limitations
of their own intellect".

The key words here are: "kEna adhishitithA:?"
( by whom or what are we (jeevans) controlled
to experience the laws of happines and misery?).

This can be confusing unless one looks at the overall
questions asked in Manthram 1:

brahmavAdhInO Vadhanthi

kim kaaraNam Brahma:? kutha: sma jaathA ?
  jeevama kEna?ka cha samprathishtA?
adhishithA: kEna ? sukhEtharEshu
  vathAmahE BrahmavidhO vyavasTAm 

(Meaning): " Students of Brahma (i-e. the VedAs)
discuss (among themselves): What is the Cause 
(Kaaranam )?(Is it) Brahman? Whence are we born?
Why do we live? Where is our final rest ? under whose
orders are we , who know the Brahman , subjected to
the law of hapiness and misery ?".

These are powerful questions and provide the VedAnthic 
background for the attempts at the answers to these 
timeless questions .The supreme cause behind the creaton
of the universe , the mystery of creation , the mystery
of life itself , the mystery of death , the mystery of
the existence of suffering under the most compassionate
providence , all of these questions are raised to seek
answers by the Sage SvEtAsvatAra in this Upanishad.

I will take up the six chapters , one at a time and
summarize the VisishtAdvaithic intrepretation following
the text of SrI UthtamUr Swamy's Upanishad Saaram.

Dear SrI MalOlan :Thanks for asking the question,
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri SatakOpan 

>Dear Members,
>I would like to know the purport of a particular verse which i came across
quite recently. It seemingly implies a "projectory"/"illusory" or a image
nature of the universe. Is creation just defined as a sport or a projection?
If so, how is the universe rationalised into representing the Achit which is
permanent? I would seek clarification from members regarding the same.
>"Kim-kAranam brahman" - "What is the cause of the universe, - is it the
>"te jnAnayOgAnugata apashyan
>devAtma-shaktim svagunaiirnirgudam"
>I am aware that Adi Shankar explains the verse in his Sutra Bhasyam as
"Brahman using his own atma shakti in PROJECTION of the universe"? How ever
this seems to be at odds to the pradhana pratitantram of
visisthadvaitam(atleast as per my understanding - please do correct me if i
am wrong in this regard). Only, Adi Shankara's explanation seem to follow
the shruthi quite closely. 
>I am not familiar with any Sri Sookthis explaining the cause of creation
from the point of visisthadvaitam. Hence seek some clarification regarding
the same.
>Adiyen Ramanuja Dasan,
>Malolan Cadambi

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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