Thursday, June 08, 2006

Panchadashi - Chapter 1-Verses 44,45 and 46

Hari Aum

Prostrations to my Guru. Prostrations to All.


jagato yad upaadaanaM maayaam aadaaya taamasiim.h .
nimitta.n shuddha sattvaa.n taam uchyate brahma tad giraa .. 44..

Brahman becomes the material and efficient cause of the world when associated with those aspects of Maya in which there is predominance of tamas and sattva respectively. This Brahman is referred to as ‘That’ in the text ‘That Thou Art’.


yadaa malina sattvaa.n taa.n kaama karmaadi duushhitam.h .
aadatte tat paraM brahma tvaM padena tadochyate .. 45..

When the Supreme Brahman superimposes on Itself Avidya, that is sattva mixed with rajas and tamas, creating desires and activities in It, then it is referred to as ‘Thou’


tritayiim api taaM muktvaa paraspara virodhiniim.h .
akhaNDa.n sachchidaanandaM mahaa vaakyena lakshyate .. 46..

When the three mutually contradictory aspects of Maya are rejected, there remains the one indivisible Brahman whose nature is Existence, Consciousness and Bliss. This is pointed out by the great saying ‘That Thou Art’

Once the seeker differentiates the Self from the five sheaths, the Guru instructs the seeker about the Ultimate Reality of Brahman through the Mahavakya “That Thou Art”. Thus by understanding clearly the each word of the Mahavakya, the seeker realizes ones own nature of Self.
Before the creation of the world only the Ultimate Reality of Brahman existed. Brahman became Isvara with the power of Maya. Isvara through the power of Maya created the world of names and forms. So the Isvara or the Brahman with Maya is the cause and the world is the effect. The cause always pervades the effect and hence the world is nothing but cause alone or the Brahman alone. Thus Brahman is both material and the efficient cause of the world. Maya through which the world is created is only an illusion and hence the world that seems to exist is also an illusion in the Reality of Brahman. Brahman alone is Real and the names and forms in Brahman are only an illusion in Brahman.

Mundaka Upanishad gives 3 examples to show that the world is nothing but the Ultimate Reality of Brahman.
“YaThornanaaBhihi srujathae grunathecha
yaTha prithivyaam oshaDhayaha samBhavanthi
yaThaa sathaha purushoth keshalomaani
thaThaaksharaath samBhavatheeha vishvam”

As a spider projects forth and absorbs back (the threads), as plants grow on earth, as hairs grow on the body, the universe emerges from the Imperishable Being.

Spider is the creates the web from itself and hence it is the material cause and the efficient cause of the web, there are different plants and trees grow from the earth and hence it is only the same cause but manifests in different forms. The third example is that hair, which is an insentient, grows in human or animals which is sentient, thus it is a sentient thing from which came the insentient. In the similar way the Ultimate Reality of Brahman is the Supreme Cause of the world. So, Isvara who is nothing but Brahman with the power of Maya is referred as ‘That’ in the Mahavakya ‘That Thou Art’.

The reflection of Brahman in Avidya is the Jiva. The very nature of Jiva is nothing but Brahman. Because of ignorance, Jiva doesn’t know ones own nature and hence thinks the world and the experience from the world as real. When the world is seen as real, the objects of the world will be seen by the Jiva as different from himself. Since it sees objects of the world as real because of the ignorance of ones own nature, jiva gets the desire for the object and thus does action to experience the pleasure from the object. Ignorance, Desire and Action form the three knots and thus because of this Jiva goes birth to birth to enjoy the results of the action and enjoys doing more action. The Jiva with the illusory ignorance is referred as ‘Thou’ in the Mahavakya ‘That Thou Art’

Iswara is the controller of Maya, whereas Jiva is under the control of Maya. Isvara is Omnipresent and Omnipotent, but Jiva seems to be limited in knowledge and space. Thus we see that Isvara and Jiva seem to have contradictory nature. The limitations that seems to exist for the Jiva is because of the ignorance. Ignorance doesn’t really exist but only seems to exist and hence is only an illusion in the Reality. Since ignorance is only an illusion, the limitation that seems to exist is also an illusion. In the similar way, the Maya which is the power of Isvara is also an illusion and never really exists. Hence, removing the illusory ignorance from Jiva and illusory Maya from Isvara, the nature of Jiva and Isvara are one and the same which is nothing but the Ultimate Reality of Brahman. This is what is pointed out in the Mahavakya ‘That Thou Art’.

Prostrations to all

Hari Aum



Blogger vedanta said...


Prostrations to all.

Few comments on the below mail.......
The Mundaka upanishad statement doesn't exactly show that the world is Brahman but it shows that the world came out of Brahman and creation explanation. But since this proves that the effect of world is caused from Brahman which is the efficient as well as material cause of the world (as shown through the example of spider creating web out of itself), therefore indirectly it leads to prove that the world is Brahman alone. But this sloka directly doesn't point the same instead it speaks about "how of creation from brahman".

We have to remember while learning Panchadashi that the concept of Jeeva, Ishwara, Maya and Avidya is a bit different from other works (as we have already discussed this in Jeeva thread). Here Vidyaranya takes the simplest way of explaining Jeeva as individual whereas Ishwara as collective (similar the case with maya and avidya) -- thus jeeva is under maya where Ishwara is controlling Maya...... Even though vidyaranya basically follows the varthika prasthaanam but here it is not exactly varthika prasthaanam's way of explaining about jeeva and avidya as sureshwaracharya does seem to be of the opinion that jeeva and ishwara are not much different from one another as vidyaranya shows here.

But this view as it is easiest to comprehend has been accepted and used in other vedantic works of laghu vasudeva mananam, vedanta saara etc. which came much after panchadashi.

Prostrations to all.


Let a moment not pass by without remembering God

8:13 PM  

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