Gita Rahasya -Tilak 261

Karma Yoga Sastra -Tilak


Nevertheless, the old terminology of the Taittiriyopanisad of referring to the visible world as 'sat' and to the Parabrahman as 'asat' or as 'tyat' ( THAT = that which is beyond ) has not been totally exter- minated ; and what the original meaning of the description of the Brahman in the Gita [1] as 'OM-Tat-Sat' must have been, can very clearly be seen by reference to the old terminology. 'OM' is a Vedic prayer in the form of a mystic word, and it has been explained in various ways in the Upanisads [2]. 'tat' means 'THAT', that is, the indescribable Element which is far beyond the visible world, and 'sat' is the visible world which can be seen by the eyes ; and this canon means that these three together constitute the Brahman. And it is with this import that the Blessed Lord has said in the Gita[3] that "sad asac- caham arjuna", that is, "sat is the Parabrahman and asat is the visible world, and I am both". Still, in as much as the Gita propounds the Karma-Yoga, it has been explained at the -end of the seventeenth chapter that by taking the word 'sat' in the canon, OM-Tat-Sat, as meaning

Action, which is good from the point of view of respectability, or which has been done with a good intention, or of which the result is good, and by taking the word 'tat' as meaning, Action, which is beyond the above-mentioned Action, that is, which has been performed by giving up the desire for fruit, as and when occasion arises to use that canon, the doctrine of Karma-Yoga can be fully supported on the basis of this description of the Brahman. As that which has been referred to as 'sat' in the canon, is nothing else but the visible world, that is to say, Karma (See the next chapter), this interpretation of the definition of the Brahman in terms of Karma, easily arises out of the original interpretation. There are to be found in the Upanisads other descriptions of the Brahman than 'om-tatsat', " neti neti ', ' saccidananda ' and ' satyasya satyam '; but as they are not necessary for understanding the meaning of the Gita, I have not given them here.


References And Context

  1. ( Gi. 17. 23 )
  2. ( Pra. 5 ; Man. 8-12; Chan. 1. 1. )
  3. ( Gl. 9. 19 )