Gita Rahasya -Tilak 234

Karma Yoga Sastra -Tilak


The next question is whether the two fundamental substances in these two cases are one and the same or are different. But before considering that question, I shall first consider precisely the allegation which is sometimes made as regards the modernity of that doctrine.

Some persons say that although the Vijnanavada of the Buddhists is not acceptable to Vedanta philosophy, yet, in as much as the opinion of Sri Samkaracarya that the Name-d and Form-ed (namarupatmaka) appearance of the external world, which is visible to the eyes, is illusory, and that the imperish- able substance underlying it is Real— which is known as the 'MAYA-VADA'— is not to be found in the ancient Upanisads, it cannot be considered as part of the original Vedanta philosophy. But, if one carefully considers the Upanisads, he will easily see that this objection is totally without foundation. I have already stated before that the word 'satya' (Real) is applied in ordinary parlance to those things which are actually visible to the eyes; Therefore, in some places in the Upanisads, the word 'satya' has been used in this its ordinary meaning, and the Name-d and Form-ed external objects, visible to the eyes, have been called 'satya ; and the Fundamental Substance which is clothed by those Names and Forms is called 'amrta'. For instance, in the Brhadaranyakopanisad (1. 6. 3), it is stated that "tadetadamrtam satyenacchannam" , that is, "that amrta is covered by satya"; and the words amrta and satya have been immediately afterwards denned as : "prana va amrtam namarupe satyam tabhyam ayam pranaschannam", that is, "prana (Vitality) is amrta (eternal) and Name and Form is satya (Real) ; the prana is clothed by this satya in the shape of Name and Form".

The word prana is here used in the meaning of the Parabrahman in the form of prana. From this it is seen that those things which are known as 'mithya' and 'satya' in the later Upanisads, were originally respectively known as 'satya' and 'amrta'. In some places, this amrta is referred to as 'satyasya satyam', that is, "the ultimate satya (Reality), which is at the core of the satya (Reality) visible to the eyes" [1]. But, the abovementioned objection does not become substantiated by reason of the fact merely that the visible universe has been referred to as satya in some places in the Upanisads ; because, in the Brhadaranyaka itself, the final proposition stated is that everything else except the Atman-formed Parabrahman is 'artam', that is, perishable [2].


References And Context

  1. (Br. 2. 3. 6)
  2. (Br. 3. 7. 23)