Tat Tvam asi Swetketo

The verse from Chhandogya (6.8) is included in 5 Mahavakyas of Advait. Although, they have taken the interpretation of all the mahavakyas out of context; terming some of the sentences as more important than others is itself ridiculous. Vyasdeva himself compiled Vedas and as summary of them, he wrote Vedant-Sutra. If at all the so called ‘MAHA_VAKYAS’ are the essence of the Vedas, Vyas should have at least formed a Adhikaran in Brahma-sutra on Mahavakyas.

Let us look at the verse along with the whole context. The Verse comes in the ‘Sat Vidya’ portion of the Chhandogya Upanishad.

The Chandokya Upanishad Chapter 6 –

Aruna’s son is Uddalaka. Uddalaka’s son is Swethaketu. Uddalaka addressed his son
श्वेतकेतुर्हारुणेय आस तꣳ ह पितोवाच श्वेतकेतो
वस ब्रह्मचर्यं न वै सोम्यास्मत्कुलीनोऽननूच्य ब्रह्मबन्धुरिव भवतीति ॥ ६.१.१॥
“Swetaketo! Do the prescribed study of Veda under the guidance of qualified preceptor!”

स ह द्वादशवर्ष उपेत्य चतुर्विꣳशतिवर्षः
सर्वान्वेदानधीत्य महामना अनूचानमानी स्तब्ध
एयाय तꣳह पितोवाच ॥ ६.१.२॥

Swetaketu obeyed his father’s order and completed the prescribed study of Veda and returned back to his house after years. Swethaketu thought that he has mastered everything. On seeing his son, Uddalaka understood that his son is yet to know the Brahman. Uddalaka therefore wanted him to get knowledge about the Brahman.

In order to invoke his interest regarding the Brahman, Uddalaka questioned Swetaketu as follows:
स्तब्धोऽस्युत तमादेशमप्राक्ष्यः येनाश्रुतꣳ श्रुतं
भवत्यमतं मतमविज्ञातं विज्ञातमिति
॥ ६.१.३॥
“Utha tamaadesam apraakshya: yenaasrutam srutham bhavathi amatham matham avignyaatham vignyaatham” –

“O son! Do you know that “Aadesa”, by knowing which all things which were not heard becomes heard (known), all that which were not contemplated becomes contemplated and all unknown becomes known?”

Mundaka Upanishad 1.1.3

शौनको ह वै महाशालोऽङ्गिरसं विधिवदुपसन्नः पप्रच्छ। कस्मिन्नु भगवो विज्ञाते सर्वमिदं विज्ञातं भवतीति।।1.1.3।।

Meaning: Saunaka, well known as a great householder, having approached Angiras duly, asked, ‘ O adorable sir, (which is that thing) which having been known, all this becomes known? ’

Brihadaranyak Upanishad 4.5.6

आत्मनि खल्व अरे दृष्टे श्रुते मते विज्ञात इदं सर्वं विदितं भवति|

आत्मा वा अरे द्रष्टव्यः श्रोतव्यः मन्तव्यः निधिध्यासितव्यः||

Swethaketu should have got shocked on being questioned like this and doubted the question’s logic itself. By knowing water, one is not known about fire. By knowing jyotish, one is not known about Vyakaran. He did not know the answer any way. He asked his father

कथं नु भगवः स आदेशो भवतीति
//Katham Tu Bhagava: Sa: //

Meaning: How is that revered Sir?”

Uddalaka started explaining about the jagat-kaaranam Brahman. One who knows the cause, the effect too gets known to him. The one who knows the jagat-karanam Brahma, everything gets known to him; since everything emerges from that Brahman only. Brahman is both Nimitta and Upadan kaaranam of the creation. We have discussed it in details in the previous article:

Brahma Sutra 1.1.2 (Creation of Universe)

kaarya-kaaran bhaav (कार्य-कारण भाव)

His father first made it clear to his son that the question is logical and then answered it in detail. He quoted examples –

यथा सोम्यैकेन मृत्पिण्डेन सर्वं मृन्मयं विज्ञातꣳ
स्याद् ॥ ६.१.४॥
“Yatha Somya ekena mruth pindena sarvam mrunmayam vignyaatham syaath” –

Meaning: By knowing the material cause “Clay”, things (like pot which are effects) made of clay becomes to be known”.

He actually pointed out the oneness of cause (material cause – Upaadaana Kaaranam) and the effect (Kaaryam). To make him understand that Pot and Clay are same (but only different forms), he said:

वाचारम्भणं विकारो नामधेयं मृत्तिकेत्येव सत्यम्
“Vaacha-Aarambhanam Vikaaro Namadheyam mruthikethyeva satyam”.

Meaning: Though we think the pot is different from clay, it is in fact the clay itself in a changed mode, which has got a shape which is called as pot”.

Uddalaka contiues by giving more examples:

यथा सोम्यैकेन लोहमणिना सर्वं लोहमयं विज्ञातꣳ
स्याद्वाचारम्भणं विकारो नामधेयं लोहमित्येव
सत्यम् ॥ ६.१.५॥

यथा सोम्यिकेन नखनिकृन्तनेन सर्वं कार्ष्णायसं विज्ञातꣳ
स्याद्वाचारम्भणं विकारो नामधेयं कृष्णायसमित्येव
सत्यमेवꣳसोम्य स आदेशो भवतीति ॥ ६.१.६॥

Meaning: By knowing gold (cause/ कारण’), all the golden ornaments (Effect/ कार्य) becomes known. By knowing the iron, all the iron tools are known.
Swethakethu requested his father to kindly teach him that “Aadesa”, knowing which everything becomes known! “Aadesa” means Brahman who controls everything by ruling everything. It is derived in Sanskrit as “Aadichyate Anena Ithi Aadesa:”.

Brihadaranyak 3.8.6 says that by the order and fear of Narayana, Surya, chandra, Vayu etc. devatas perform their respective functions. Thus, Sriman Narayana is that ‘Adesha’.

Need to Approach Guru

Mundaka Upanishad

परीक्ष्य लोकान्कर्मचितान्ब्राह्मणो निर्वेदमायान्नास्त्यकृतः कृतेन।

तद्विज्ञानार्थं स गुरूमेवाभिगच्छेत्समित्पाणिः श्रोत्रियं ब्रह्मनिष्ठम्।।1.2.12।।

Meaning: A Brahmana should resort to renunciation after examining the worlds acired through karma, with the help of this maxim: ‘ There is nothing (here) that is not the result of karma; so what is the need of (performing) karma ? ’ For knowing that Reality he should go,  only to a teacher versed in the Vedas and absorbed in Brahman.

तस्मै स विद्वानुपसन्नाय सम्यक् प्रशान्तचित्ताय शमान्विताय।

येनाक्षरं पुरूषं वेद सत्यं प्रोवाच तां तत्त्वतो ब्रह्मविद्याम्।।1.2.13।।

Meaning: To that pupil who has approached him respectfully, whose mind is altogether calm, the wise teacher truly told that knowledge of Brahman through which he knows the imperishable true Person’

ब्रह्मा देवानां प्रथमः संबभूव विश्वस्य कर्ता भुवनस्य गोप्ता।

स ब्रह्मविद्यां सर्वविद्याप्रतिष्ठामथर्वाय ज्येष्ठपुत्राय प्राह।।1.1.1।।

Brahma, the creator of the Universe and the protector of the world, was the first among the gods to be manifested. To His eldest son Atharva He imparted that knowledge of Brahman that is the basis of all knowledge.

Shwetaswar 6.23

यथा देवे तथा गुरु

Gita 4.34

तद्विद्धि प्रणिपातेन परिप्रश्नेन सेवया।  उपदेक्ष्यन्ति ते ज्ञानं ज्ञानिनस्तत्त्वदर्शिनः।।4.34।।

Guru.JPG

Uddalaka Started his teachings:

{English translation  by. Swami Nikhilananda.}

सदेव सोम्येदमग्र आसीदेकमेवाद्वितीयम् ।
तद्धैक आहुरसदेवेदमग्र आसीदेकमेवाद्वितीयं
तस्मादसतः सज्जायत ॥ ६.२.१॥
“Sat Eva Somya edmagre aaseeth ekameya adveteeyam”.

Meaning: “In the beginning, O Somya (who is fit to drink the Soma juice (prepared in Soma yagnya), this universe was Being (Sat) alone, one only without a second. Some say that in the beginning this was non−being (asat) alone, one only without a second; and from that non−being, being was born.”

Here, Brahman Sriman Narayan is said to be both nimitta and Upadaan kaaran i.e. both effective and material cause i.e. both potter and mud.

‘Sat’ here means ‘Narayana’ and ‘Asat ‘means the subtle/ sukshma form of universe before creation. (एकमेवाद्वितीयं तस्मात् असतः सत जायत). From ‘asat’ was born ‘sat’ means the universe in unmanifested/ subtle form became manifested in gross form.  Thus, ‘Vishist-Brahman’ is both Nimitta and Upadana kaaran. Intially the verse says that there was ‘sat’ alone; having none second to him. The verse later says that only ‘asat’ was present in the beginning, having none second to it. Thus, The Sruti mentions very clearly that both Narayana and Universe were present in the beginning with universe being the body of the Brahman. There is none second to that ‘Vishist-Brahman’ (ekmeva adwitiyam). It has been described in details in the previous article:

Brahma Sutra 1.1.2 (Creation of Universe)

The universe which you see now with manifold forms and names was not like this before its creation but was present subtle (difficult to distinguish) form of “Sat”. Nothing is its support other than Sat.

‘Sat’ here means lakshmipati Narayana only by ‘caag pashu nyaay’.

  1. आत्मा वा इदमेक एवाग्र आसीत्। नान्यत् किंचन मिषत्। स ईक्षत लोकान्नु सृजा इति।। Aitereya 1.1.1।
  2. brahma va idam agra asit (BRIHADARANYAK 1.4.10; MAITRI UPANISHAD 6.17)
  3. naiveha kinchana agra aasit, divya deva eko Narayana (Subalopanishad)
  4. eko ha vai narayano aasit (mahopanishad)
  5. eko ha vai nArAyaNa AsIt| na brhamA na ISAnah na Apah naagnishomi yau na eme dyAvA pRthvI na nakshatrANina sUryah na candramAh| (narayana Upanishad)
  6. Thus, aatma, Brahma, sat refers to Narayana only.

 

Taittiriya Upanishad 2.7.1

असद्वा इदमग्र आसीत्। ततो वै सदजायत।

Meaning: In the beginning there was only ‘asat‘. From that ‘sat‘ manifested.

 

Swetketo had doubt

कुतस्तु खलु सोम्यैवँ् स्यादिति होवाच कथमसतः सज्जायेतेति ।

Meaning: How can ‘sat’ be evolved from ‘Asat’?

Uddalaka clarifies:

सत्त्वेव सोम्येदमग्र आसीदेकमेवाद्वितीयम् ।। 6.2.2 ।।

तदैक्षत बहु स्यां प्रजायेयेति तत्तेजोऽसृजत तत्तेज ऐक्षत बहु स्यां प्रजायेयेति तदपोऽसृजत तस्माद्यत्र क्कच शोचति स्वेदते वा पुरुषस्तेजस एव तदध्यापो जायन्ते ।। 6.2.3 ।।

Meaning: Only ‘sat’ was in the beginning. The “Sat” wished that “I become the multitudinous (expanded-SthUla) chit and achit tatvas ie., the universe”. The “Sat” became many, as it wished. This is “Sat’s” first Sankalpam (Wish).

He created ‘teja’. ‘teja’ desired may I become many, it created water. ( Non-sentient ‘teja’ can’t desire. What sruti means that the antaryaami of ‘teja’ i.e. Narayana, having teja as its body; desired and created water). Thus, Narayana created teja, water, earth etc.

Sruti too mentions in Brihadaranyak: yasya aapah shatiram, yasya prithvi shariram etc.

Here, the sruti refutes the claims of ‘asat-kaarya-vaad’ that sat evolved from asat i.e. atoms and molecules itself combined to form the universe without any ‘nimitta kaaran’. Atoms are non-sentient and have no knowledge. The world is not formed as a random accident but this beautiful, well-planned universe is created by will/sankalp of god, the nimitta kaaran. Can the mud (upaadaan kaaran) itself get converted to pot (effect)? It needs a potter i.e. nimitta kaaran who possess knowledge, power and intelligence.

Also, the Sruti clarifies the difference between nimitta and upaadaana kaaran. Upaadan kaaran converts itself into the effect but nimitta kaaran remains unchanged. Similarly, Brahman which is ‘nirvikaar’ remains unchanged and it’s body undergoes change from subtle to gross during creation and gross to subtle during deluge. That ‘Vishisht-Brahmna’ is the ‘abhinna-nimitta-upaadaan-kaaran’.

Next shlokas gives details of creation but without dwelling into that, let’s stick to the topic. Narayana created three types of creatures:

  1. Aandajam: creatures born from egg.
  2. Jeevajam: Creatures born from ‘garbha’
  3. Udbhijam: Creatures born from erupting out of soil e.g. trees.

 

Next shloks:

सेयं देवतैक्षत हन्ताहमिमास्तिस्रो देवता अनेन
जीवेनात्मनानुप्रविश्य नामरूपे व्याकरवाणीति ॥

तासां त्रिवृतं त्रिवृतमेकैकां करवाणीति सेयं देवतेमास्तिस्रो देवता

अनेनैव जीवेनात्मनानुप्रविश्य नामरूपे व्याकरोत् ।। 6.3.3 ।।

“SOyam Devataykshatha Hanthaaham Imaa: Tisra: Devataa:

Anena JevEna Aatmanaa Anupravisya Nama Roope iVyaakaravaaNi”
Meaning: The “Sat” wished again –  “by having the representative divinities (abhimaani devata) of Tejas (fire/light), Aap (Water) and Annam (Prutvi-matter) as Sareeram (body/mode), I enter into them as aatma and give manifold names and forms to them”. It became as it wished.

Parmatma is having for his body all the aatmans:

yasya vigyaanam shariram (Br Up 3.7)

yasya aksharam shareeram (Subalopanishad. 7)

jagat sarvam sariram te (Ramayan, Yuddhakand)

 

Taittiriya Upanishad 2.6.1

सोऽकामयत। बहु स्यां प्रजायेयेति। स तपोऽतप्यत। स तपस्तप्तवा। इद्ँ सर्वमसृजत। यदिदं किं च। तत्सृष्ट्रा। तदेवानुप्राविशत्। तदनुप्रविश्य। सच्च त्यच्चाभवत्। निरुक्तं चानिरुक्तं च। निलयनं चानिलयनं च। विज्ञानं चाविज्ञानं च। सत्यं चानृतं च सत्यमभवत्। यदिदं किंच। यदिदं किंच। तत्सत्यमित्याचक्षते। तदप्येष श्लोको भवति।।2.6.1।।

He (the Self) wished, ‘ Let me be many, let me be born.’ He undertook a deliberation. Having deliberated, he created all this that exists. That (Brahman), having created (that), entered into that very thing. And having entered there, It became the formed and the formless, the defined and the undefined, the sustaining and the non-sustaining, the sentient and the insentient, the true and the untrue. Truth became all this that there is. They call that (Brahman) Truth. Pertaining to this, here is a verse:

The Brahman (Sat) is therefore declared as the “Cause” (Kaaranam) of the universe. By the first sankalpam, the Brahman did the “Samashti Srushti” and by the second sankalpam he did the “Vyashti Srushti”.

Samasti srishti: creating the universe in its amass form .

Vyasti Srishti: creating the universe in its clearly diversified form by being antaryaami of Brahma and abhimaani devatas of tejas, aapah and prithvi.

Panchikaranam:

Bhagwaan mixes the panchatattva in various proportions to evolve the world. He first divides tejas, water and earth into two parts. Then again makes 3 part of each part. Then he starts mixing them. This is called panchikaranam.

Whatever redness we see in any element is due to undivided tejas.

Whatever whiteness we see in any element is due to undivided aapah.

Whatever blackness we see in any element is due to undivided prithvi.

 

Need for sattvik aahar is stressed in further passages:

अन्नमयँ् हि सोम्य मन आपोमयः प्राणस्तेजोमयी वागिति भूय एव मा भगवान्विज्ञापयत्विति तथा सोम्येति होवाच ।। 6.5.4 ।।

Meaning: “The mind, my dear, consists of food, the prana of water and speech of tejas.”

अन्नमयँ् हि सोम्य मन आपोमयः प्राणस्तेजोमया वागिति भूय एव मा भगवान्विज्ञापयत्विति तथा सोम्येति होवाच ।। 6.6.5 ।। 

Meaning: “Thus, my dear, the mind consists of food, the prana consists of water and speech consists of fire.”

षोडशकलः सोम्य पुरुषः ||6.7.1||

“A person, my dear, consists of sixteen parts”.

What are those 16 parts? It’s detailed in Prashnopanishad 6.4

स प्राणमसृजत प्राणाच्छ्रद्धां स्वं वायुर्जोतिरापः पृथिवीन्द्रियं मनः अन्नम्न्नाद्वीर्यं तपो मन्त्राः कर्म लोका लाकेषु च नाम च।।6.1.4।।

.He created Prana; from Prana faith, Akasa, air, fire, water, earth, senses, mind and food; and from food, strength, penance, Mantras, Karma and worlds and in the worlds name also.

Having Described earlier the creation of Achit, Uddalaka now describe the creation of chit (aatmans)

 

उद्दालको हारुणिः श्वेतकेतुं पुत्रमुवाच स्वप्नान्तं मे सोम्य विजानीहीति यत्रैतत्पुरुषः स्वपिति नाम सता सोम्य तदा सम्पन्नो भवति स्वमपीतो भवति तस्मादेनँ् स्वपितीत्याचक्षते स्वँ् ह्यपीतो भवति ।। 6.8.1 ।।

Meaning: Uddalaka the son of Aruna said to his son Svetaketu: “Learn from me, my dear, the true nature of sleep. When a person has entered into deep sleep, as it is called, then, my dear, he becomes united with  Sat. That is why they say he is in deep sleep (svapiti); it is because he has gone (apita) to his own (svam).

In state of Susupti or deep sleep, person is devoid of his naam and rupa (name and form) and is united with ‘Sat’.

{The 4 stages of existence are: Jaagrat (waked up), Swapna (Dreamy), Susupti (Deep sleep) and Turiya}

‘Sat’ (सत) means Parabrahma Narayana only:

 

  1. सदेव सोम्येदमग्र आसीदेकमेवाद्वितीयम् । (Chhandogya 6.2.1) {In the beginning, there was only Sat.
  2. सत असत क्षरम अक्षरम (Vishnu Sahastranaam, Mahabharat)
  3. इन्द्रं मित्रं वरुणमग्निमाहुरथो दिव्यः स सुपर्णो गरुत्मान् ।एकं सद् विप्रा बहुधा वदन्त्यग्निं यमं मातरिश्वानमाहुः ॥ ऋ.वे. १.१६४.४६ ॥

    Meaning:- “They have styled him, Indra, Mitra, Varuṇa, Agni, and he is the celestial, well-winged Garutmat, for learned priests call ‘Sat‘ by many name as they speak of Agni, Yama, Mataṛṣvan.”

  4. तत्सदिति निर्देशो ब्रह्मणस्त्रिविधः स्मृतः। (Gita 17.23)

Om, Tat, Sat – thus Brahman is denoted by this threefold expression.

 

Susupti avastha is well described in Brihadaranyak Upanishad:

तद्यथा प्रियया स्त्रिया सम्परिष्वक्तो न बाह्यं किं चन वेद
नाऽऽन्तरमेवमेवायं पुरुषः प्राज्ञेनाऽऽत्मना
सम्परिष्वक्तो न बाह्यं किं चन वेद नाऽऽन्तरम् ।

Meaning: Just like a person embracing his loving wife is not aware of anything inside or Outside, similary after embracing antaryaami aatma (Narayana) during Susupti; the person is neither aware of anything outside, nor inside.

Swapiti (स्वपिति) = स्व+ अपिति = स्व यानी जीव शारीरक परब्रह्म में प्रलीन (अपिति) हो जाना के कारण आत्मा को स्वपिति कहा गया है|

स यथा शकुनिः सूत्रेण प्रबद्धो दिशं दिशं पतित्वान्यत्रायतनमलब्ध्वा बन्धनमेवोपश्रयत एवमेव खलु सोम्य तन्मनो दिशं दिशं पतित्वान्यत्रायतनमलब्ध्वा प्राणमेवोपश्रयते प्राणबन्धनँ् हि सोम्य मन इति ।। 6.8.2 ।।

Meaning: Just as a bird tied by a string to the hand of the bird−catcher first flies in every direction and then finding no rest anywhere, settles down at the place where it is bound i.e. hand of the bird catcher, so also the mind. Having been terrorized by the  Samsaram in ‘Jagrat’ and ‘Swapna’ avastha; aatman seeks refuge of Narayana in deep sleep.

 

सोम्येमाः सर्वाः प्रजाः सदायतनाः सत्प्रतिष्ठा यथा नु खलु सोम्येमास्तिस्रो देवताः पुरुषं प्राप्य त्रिवृत्ित्रवृदेकैका भवति तदुक्तं पुरस्तादेव भवत्यस्य सोम्य पुरुषस्य प्रयतो वाङ्मनसि सम्पद्यते मनः प्राणे प्राणस्तेजसि तेजः परस्यां देवतायाम् ।। स य एषोऽणिमा|| 6.8.6 ।।

Meaning: Yes, my Somya, all these creatures have their root in Sat (Narayana), they dwell in Sat (Narayana), they finally rest in Sat (narayana).

When a person departs hence, his speech merges in his mind, his mind in his prana, his prana in tejah and the tejah in the Highest  devata (तेजः परस्यां देवतायाम् ) ((Narayana).

स य एषोऽणिमा :- (Eshah) That sat is anu and not comprehendable by these senses.

सदायतनाः :- The creatures are always ruled by ‘sat’ (Narayana).

 

सर्वं खल्विदं ब्रह्म तज्जलानिति शान्त उपासीत । (Chhandogya 3. 14.1)

Meaning: Everything emanates from that Brahman, sustains in brahman and dissolves into Brahman.

 

एतदात्म्यमिदꣳ सर्वं तत्सत्यꣳ स आत्मा तत्त्वमसि श्वेतकेतो (6.8.7)

अन्वय: इदं सर्वं एतदात्म्यम तत सत्यम सः आत्मा श्वेतकेतो तत त्वं असि|

Meaning: All this universe is (एतदात्म्यम) pervaded by jagat-kaaranam Narayana as their antaryaami aatma. (तत) That Brahman Narayana is ( त्वं) you i.e. antaryaami of all the aatmas and having all the aatmas as its body, Sriman Narayana.

एतदात्म्यम :- एष आत्मा यस्य तत

tat :- The Brahman Narayana associated with all the divine kalyaan gunas and devoid of all the imperfections.

tvam :- The Brahman Narayana, antaryaami of all the aatmas, having all aatmas as his body.

asi :– There is no difference in both the forms of God Narayana.

‘tat’ represents Narayana:

  1. तत्सदिति निर्देशो ब्रह्मणस्त्रिविधः स्मृतः। (Gita 17.23) {Om, Tat, Sat – thus Brahman is denoted by this threefold expression.}
  2. kim yat tat padam anuttamam (Vishnu sahastranaam.61)

 

अन्वय 2 :-सः आत्मा श्वेतकेतो, तत्त्वम असि

Meaning: That is aatma Swetketo, He is ‘tattvam’ of creation.

Q: Why is ‘asi’ used here instead of ‘asti’?

Ans: As per panini Sutra 1.1.1 and 3.1.5 (व्यत्वयो वहुलम).

 

अन्वय 3 :- सः आत्मा श्वेतकेतो, तत तु अम असि (इकोयणचि, Panini 6.1.77)

Meaning: Narayana (tat tu) is (asi) this (am) Swetketo.

As per panini 6.1.101 (अकः सवर्णे दीर्घः)

अन्वय 4 :- सः आत्मा अतत त्वं असि श्वेतकेतो

Meaning: That is aatma (Narayana) Swetketo, You are not that (atat)

atat:  not that

tvam asi: You are

As per Padma Puran Uttar khand 6.236.7

Adi Shankar, incarnation of shankar, came to preach Mayavada and preached wrong meaning of the vedas. Preached people to go away from karma, so that they get fallen.

 

Swetketo was unable to understand and requested his father to explain further,

मा भगवान्विज्ञापयत्विति तथा सोम्येति होवाच ।। 6.8.7 ।।

Meaning: I am unable to understand. Please, venerable Sir, give me further instruction.

“So be it, my dear,” the father replied.

Uddalaka explains through various examples.

Example 1:

यथा सोम्य मधु मधुकृतो निस्तिष्ठन्ति नानात्ययानां वृक्षाणाँ् रसान्समवहारमेकताँ्रसं गमयन्ति ।। 6.9.1 ।।

ते यथा तत्र न विवेकं लभन्तेऽमुष्याहं वृक्षस्य रसोऽस्म्यमुष्याहं वृक्षस्य रसोऽस्मीत्येवमेव खलु सोम्येमः सर्वाः प्रजाः सति सम्पद्य न विदुः सति सम्पद्यामह इति ।। 6.9.2 ।।

Meaning: “As bees, my dear, make honey by collecting the juices of trees located at different places and reduce them to one form, “And as these juices have no discrimination so as to be able to say: ‘I am the juice of this tree,’ or ‘I am the juice of that tree’−even so, indeed, my dear, all these creatures, though they reach Sat, do not know that they have reached Pure Being.

Explaination:

In the state of susupti or deep sleep or at the time of deluge, aatman is devoid of name and form. It is not aware of it’s association with Narayana. During deep sleep, we are not aware that we are someone’s father or some object’s possessor. Only Dhaarmi gyaan exists at the time of deep sleep and dharm-bhoot gyaanam is absent.

त इह व्याघ्रों वा सि ँ् हो वा वृको वा वराहो वा कीटो वा पतङ्गो वा द ँ् शो वा मशको वा यद्यद्भवन्ति तदाभवन्ति ।। 6.9.3 ।।

Meaning: “Whatever these creatures are, here in this world−a tiger, a lion, a wolf, a boar, a worm, a fly, a gnat, or a mosquito−that they become again. 

Explaination:

As they come out of deep sleep, they redevelop their dharm-bhoot gyaanam. Again they become relative of someone  and possessor of something.

After creation, the aatmans who were devoid of name and form, gets name and form as per their previous karma.

 

Example 2.

इमाः सोम्य नद्यः पुरस्तात्प्राच्यः स्यन्दन्ते पश्चात्प्रतीच्यस्ताः समुद्रात्समुद्रमेवापियन्ति स समुद्र एव भवति ता यथा तत्र न विदुरियमहमस्मीयमहमस्मीति ।। 6.10.1 ।।

“These rivers, my dear, flow−the eastern toward the east and the western toward the west. They arise from the sea and flow into the sea. Just as these rivers, while they are in the sea, do not know: ‘I am this river’ or ‘I am that river’.

एवमेव खलु सोम्येमाः सर्वाः प्रजाः सत आगम्य न विदुः सत आगच्छामह इति त इह व्याघ्रो वा सि ँ् हो वा वृको वा वराहो वा कीटो वा पतङ्गो वा   द ँ् शो वा मशतो वा यद्यद्भवन्ति तदाभवन्ति ।। 6.10.2 ।।

“Even so, my dear, all these creatures, even though they have come from Sat, do
not know that they have come from sat. Whatever these creatures are, here in this world−a tiger, a lion, a wolf, a boar, a worm, a fly, a gnat, or a mosquito, that they become again”.

Explanation: 

At the time of deep sleep and deluge, aatman is not aware that they have come from Narayana; although they are with Narayana. After coming out of deep sleep, they regain their dharma-bhoot gyaanam.

Example 3.

अस्य सोम्य महतो वृक्षस्य यो मूलेऽभ्याहन्याज्जीवन्स्रवेद्यो मध्येऽभ्याहन्याज्जीवन्स्रवेद्योऽग्रेऽभ्याहन्याज्जीवनस्रवेत्स एष जीवेनात्मानानुप्रभूतः पेपीयमानो मोदमानस्तिष्ठति ।। 6.11.1 ।।

अस्य यदेकाँ् शाखां जीवो जहात्यथ सा शुष्यति द्वितीयां जहात्यथ सा शुष्यति तृतीयां जहात्यथ सा शुष्यति सर्वं जहाति सर्वः शुष्यति ।। 6.11.2 ।।

“If, my dear, someone were to strike at the root of this large tree here, it would bleed but
live. If he were to strike at the middle, it would bleed but live. If he were to strike at the top, it would bleed but live. Pervaded by the living self, that tree stands firm, drinking in again and again its nourishment and rejoicing.

But if the life (i.e. living self) leaves one of its branches, that branch withers; if it leaves a second, that branch withers; if it leaves a third, that branch withers. If it leaves the whole tree, the whole three withers. ”

एवमेव खलु सोम्य विद्धीति होवाच जीवापेतं वाव किलेदं म्रियते न जीवो म्रियत इति |

Take the tree to be body. “In exactly the same manner, my dear,” said he, “know this: This body dies, bereft of the living self; but the living self dies not”.

 

Example 4.

न्यग्रोधफलमत आहरेतीदं भगव इति भिन्द्धीति भिन्नं भगव इति किमत्र पश्यसीत्यण्व्य इवेमा धाना भगव इत्यासामङ्गेकां भिन्द्धीति भिन्ना भगव इति किमत्र पश्यसीति न किञ्चन भगव इति ।। 6.12.1 ।।

“Bring me a fruit of that nyagrodha (banyan) tree.”
“Here it is’ venerable Sir.” “Break it.”
“It is broken, venerable Sir.”
“What do you see there?”
“These seeds, exceedingly small,
“Break one of these, my son.”
“It is broken, venerable Sir.”
“What do you see there?”
“Nothing at all, venerable Sir.”

तँ् होवाच यं वै सोम्यैतमणिमानं न निभालयस एतस्य वै सोस्यैषोऽणिम्न एवं महान्यग्रोधस्तिष्ठति श्रद्धत्स्व सोम्येति ।। 6.12.2 ।।

The father said: “That subtle essence, my dear, which you do not perceive there−from that very essence this great nyagrodha arises.
Believe me, my dear.

Explaination:

Before creation, the universe was subtle, without name and form. From that the world takes gross form.

The aatman and parmatman is anu  and can’t be comprehended by senses. Only through the eyes of shastras, we can perceive chit-achit-Vishisht-Narayana.

 

Example 5.

लवणमेतदुदकेऽवधायाथ मा प्रातरुपसीदथा इति स ह तथा चकार तँ् होवाच यद्दोषा लवणमुदकेऽवाधा अङ्ग तदाहरेति तद्धावमृश्य न विवेद ।। 6.13.1 ।।

“Place this salt in water and then come to me in the morning.”
The son did as he was told.
The father said to him: “My son, bring me the salt which you placed in the water last night.”
Looking for it, the son did not find it, for it was completely dissolved.

यथा विलीनमेवाङ्गास्यान्तादाचामेति कथमिति लवणमिति मध्यादाचामेति कथमिति लवणमित्यन्तादाचामेति कथमिति लवणमित्यभिप्रास्यैतदथ मोपसीदथा इति तद्ध तथा चकार तच्छश्वत्संवर्तते तँ् होवाचात्र वाव किल सत्सोम्य न निभालयसेऽन्नैव किलेति ।। 6.13.2 ।।

The father said: “My son, take a sip of water from the surface. How is it?”
“It is salt.”
“Take a sip from the middle. How is it?”
“It is salt.”
“Take a sip from the bottom. How is it?”
“It is salt.”
“Throw it away and come to me.”
The son did as he was told, saying: “The salt was there all the time.”
Then the father said: “Here also, my dear, in this body you do not perceive Sat (Being); but
It is indeed there.”

Explanation:

Although Brahman resides inside aatman, is forever present with the aatman; it’s presence can’t be comprehended by senses. It’s presence can be only be experienced in direction of Guru/Acharya.

Although Brahman resides inside the aatman; the indivisuality of both remains. Had both aatman and parmatman been same and not different; both would have become one. To Mayavadis, it seems as non-difference but when examined through eyes of shastras, we can perceive difference between aatman and Brahman.

Example 5.

यथा सोम्य पुरुषं गन्धारेभ्योऽभिनद्धाक्षमानाय तं ततोऽतिजने विसृजेत्स यथा तत्र प्राङ्वोदङ्वाधराङ्वा प्रत्यङ्वा प्रध्यमायीताभिनद्धाक्ष आनीतोऽभिनद्धाक्षो विसृष्टः ।। 6.14.1 ।।

“Just as someone, my dear, might lead a person, with his eyes covered, away from the
country of the Gandharas and leave him in a place where there were no human beings; and just as that person would turn toward the east, or the north, or the south, or the west, shouting: ‘I have been brought here with my eyes covered, I have been left here with my eyes covered!’

तस्य यथाभिनहनं प्रमुच्य प्रब्रूयोदेतां दिशं गन्धारा एतां दिशं व्रजेति स ग्रामाद्ग्रामं पृच्छन्पण्डितो मेधावी गन्धारानेवोपसम्पद्येतैवमेवेहाचार्यवान्पुरुषो वेद तस्य तावदेव चिरं यावन्न विमोक्ष्येऽथ सम्पत्स्य इति ।। 6.14.2 ।।

“And as thereupon someone might loosen the covering and say to him: ‘Gandhara is in that direction; go that way’; and as thereupon, having been informed and being capable of judgement, he would, by asking his way from one village to another, arrive at last at
Gandhara−in exactly the same manner does a man who has found a teacher to instruct him obtain the true knowledge. For him there is delay only so long as he is not liberated from the body; then he reaches perfection.

Explaination:

We have been wandering in sansaar saagar from time immemorial and experiencing pains and pleasures.  Acharya opens out eyes of ignorance by giving gyaanam and we reach the abode Brahman travelling through Archiraadi maarg.

 

Example 6.

पुरुषँ् सोम्योतोपतापिनं ज्ञातयः पर्युपासते जानासि मां जानासि मामिति तस्य यावन्न वाङ् मनसि सम्पद्यते मनः प्राणे प्राणस्तेजसि तेजः परस्यां देवतायां तावज्जानाति ।। 6.15.1 ।।

अथ यदास्य वाङ् मनसि सम्पद्यते मनः प्राणे प्राणस्तेजसि तेजः परस्यां देवतायामथ न जानाति ।। 6.15.2 ।।

“Around a dying person afflicted with illness, my dear, his relatives gather and ask: ‘Do you know me? Do you know me?’ He knows them as long as his speech is not merged in his mind, his mind in his prana (breath), his prana in heat (fire) and the heat in the Highest devata (Brahman).

“But when his speech is merged in his mind, his mind in his prana, his prana in heat and
the heat in the Brahman, then he does not know them”.

 

Example 7.

पुरुषँ् सोम्योत हस्तगृहीतमानयन्त्यपहार्षीत्स्तेयमकार्षीत्परशुमस्मै तपतेति स यदि तस्य कर्ता भवति तत एवानृतमात्मानं कुरुते सोऽनृताभिसन्धोऽनृतेनात्मानमन्तर्धाय परशुं तप्तं प्रतिगृह्णाति स दह्यतेऽथ हन्यते ।। 6.16.1 ।।

अथ यदि तस्याकर्ता भवति तत एव सत्यमात्मानं कुरुते स सत्याभिसन्धः सत्येनात्मानमन्तर्धाय परशुं तप्तं प्रतिगृह्णाति स न दह्यतेऽथ मुच्यते ।। 6.16.2 ।।

“My dear, they (i.e. the police) bring a man whom they have seized by the hand and say:
‘He has taken something, he has committed a theft.’ When he denies it, they say: ‘Heat the axe for him.’ If he has committed the theft but denies it, then he makes himself a liar. Being false−minded, he covers himself with falsehood, grasps the heated axe and is burnt. Then he is killed.

“But if he did not commit the theft, then he makes himself what he really is. Being
true−minded, he covers himself with truth, grasps the heated axe and is not burnt. He is
released.

Explanation:

Aatman is not the karta by influenced by 3 gunas of prakriti, it does paapam and punyam. Once it realize Narayana as ‘karta’ and aatman as ‘akarta’; it get’s released of bondage of birth and death.

 

Conclusion:

Looking at the whole discussion, Brahman has been described as jagat-kaaranam i.e. creator of the universe just by his will or sankalpam. There is nothing in the context to ascribe to jeevatma-Brahma aikyam. We can call the Golden chain as Gold. This is called ‘kaarya-kaaran bhaava’.

Again, Brahman has for its body all chit and achit. In common practice we call or address aatman by the name of Body. e.g. We call someone ‘dandi-purush’; ‘golden girl’; ‘man with long hairs’ etc. The name belongs to the body but body can’t respond, it being non-sentient. Atually, we are calling aatman by the name of Body. Similarly, when we say ‘you are Brahman’; ‘I am Brahman’; “aatma is Brahma”; it naturally refers that ‘Narayana is Brahman’; since every aatman is his body and he is the antaryaami aatma of every aatmans. This is called ‘sharir-aatma bhaava

Like we call, “O Auto! come here”. Actually we are calling one who possess the auto. also, when an army wins, We say, “India won’ since the army is possessed by India. Similary, the aatman is possessed by Brahman. What we refer to aatman is actually referred to it’s master, Sriman Narayana. This is called ‘Prrakaar-Prakaari-bhaava’

 

 

Taittiriya Upanishad 2.7.1

रसो वै सः। रस्ँह्येवायं लब्ध्वानन्दी भवती। को ह्येवान्यात्कः प्राण्यात्। तदेष आकाश आनन्दो न स्यात्। एष ह्येवानन्दयाति। यदा ह्येवैष एतस्मिन्नदृश्येऽनात्म्येऽनिरुक्तेऽनिलयनेऽभयं प्रतिष्ठां विन्दते। अथ सोऽभयं गतो भवति। यदा ह्येवैष एतस्मिन्नुदरमन्तरं कुरुते। अथ तस्य भयं भवति। तत्त्वेव भयं विदुषोऽमन्वानस्य। तदप्येष श्लोको भवति।।2.7.1।।

Brahman is verily the source of joy; for one becomes happy by coming in contact with that source of joy. Who, indeed, will inhale, and who will exhale, if this Bliss be not there in the supreme space (within the heart). This one, indeed, enlivens (people). For whenever an aspirant gets fearlessly established in this unperceivable, bodiless, inexpressible and unsupporting Brahman, he reaches the state of fearlessness. For, whenever the aspirant creates the slightest difference in It, he is smitten with fear. Nevertheless, that very Brahman is a terror to the (so called) learned man who lacks the unitive outlook. Illustrative of this here is a verse:

 

42058296_1956504224431600_4559052396805750784_nBGKrishnaArjunanara-narayanan

 

Credits:

  1. Gudhaarth deepika on Chhandogya Upanishad by HH Tridandi Viswasenacharya swamijee maharaj
  2. English translation of chhandogya Upanishad by Swami Nikhilanand.
  3. https://www.upanishads.iitk.ac.in/
  4. http://sriramanujar.tripod.com/tutorial/6.html#

Author: ramanujramprapnna

studying Ramanuj school of Vishishtadvait vedant

3 thoughts on “Tat Tvam asi Swetketo”

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