Gita Rahasya -Tilak 260

Karma Yoga Sastra -Tilak


From this it is clear, that though there is a difference in words, there is no difference in the intended meaning. In the same way, it is ultimately said that " asadva idam agra asit", that is, "this world was as 2t (Brahman) in the beginning" ; and, as stated in the Rg-Veda (10. 129. 4), the sat, that is, the Name-d and Form-ed perceptible world, is said to have subsequently grown out of it [1]. From this, it becomes quite clear that the word 'asat' has been used here only in the meaning of avyakta, that is, not visible to the eyes ; and in the Vedanta-Sutras, Badarayanacarya has interpreted those words in the same meaning [2]. But, those who interpret the word 'sat' or 'satya, as meaning existing permanently, or ever-lasting, though not visible to the eyes (which is the second of the two meanings mentioned above), give to the invisible but immutable Parabrahman the name sat or satya and call the Name-d and Form-ed Maya, aiat or asatya, i. e., perishable. For instance, there is a description in the Chandogyopanisad that: "sadeva saumyedam agra asit katham asatah sajjayeta", that is, "O my son ! this world was originally sat (Brahman) ; how can 'sat', that is, that which exists, come into existence out of something which is asat, that is, which never was in existence ? " [3]. But in this Chandogyopanisad itself, the Parabrahman has in one place been called 'asat.' in the sense of avyakta, that is.

imperceptible[4]. [5] This confusing method by which the same Parabrahman was at different times and in different meanings given the mutually contradictory names of once 'sat' and at another time 'asat' — which was a method promoting verbal warfare, though the intended import was the same — gradually wore out; and ultimately, the one terminology of calling the Brahman sat or satya, i. e., eternally lasting, and the visible world asat or perishable, has become fixed. In the Bhagavadgita, this ultimate terminology has been accepted and in the second chapter, the Parabrahman has been described as sat and imperishable, and Names and forms are described as asat, that is, perishable, in those meanings of those words ( Gl. 2. 16-18); and the same is the doctrine of the Vedanta-Sutras.


References And Context

  1. (Tai. 2. 7)
  2. ( Ve. Si. 2. 1. 17)
  3. (Chan. 6. 2. 1, 2)
  4. (Chan. 3. 19. 1)
  5. Even among the English writers on Metaphysics, there is a difference of opinion as to whether the word real, i. e„ sat should be applied to the appearance of the world (Miba) or to the vastu- tattlva (Brahman). Kant looks upon the Appearance as sat real) and calls the vastu-tattva, imperishable. But, Haeckel, Green and others call the Appearance, asat (unreal), and the vastu-tattva, sat (real).