Spiritual discourses, Thoughts

Avidya and Avyakta (Part-II)

Continuing from last post, we find in 14.3, मम् स्वभूता—मदीया माया—त्रिगुणात्मिका प्रकृति:–योनि: सर्वभूतानाम्—महद् ब्रह्म इति योनि .

Therefore, maya = prakriti = apara prakriti = mahad brahm. This term mahad brahm is a technical term and should not be confused with Brahman.

Further, in 14.4 क्षेत्र क्षेत्रज्ञ प्रकृति द्वय शक्तिमान ईश्वर: अहम्. This means that Ishwar has two prakritis, Kshetra and Kshetrajna (same as apara and para prakriti respectively).

Thus, another equality is as follows:-

Ishwara = Bija prad pita. Mahad brahm = prakriti = kshetra. Bija is that of Hiranyagarbha.

In 14.5, तस्माद् गुण इव नित्य परतंत्र: क्षेत्रज्ञ, अविद्यात्मकत्वातक्षेत्रज्ञ निबद्ध्नंती इव. Thus, Gunas (prakriti = kshetra) are always subordinate to Kshetrajna. However, being avidyatmak (of the nature of avidya), they appear to bind Kshetrajna.

In 14.6, न ही विषय धर्मो विषयिनों भवति. The attributes of vishaya (kshetra) cannot become that of vishayi (kshetrajna). इच्छा आदि च धृति अन्तम् (13.7) क्षेत्रस्य एव विषयस्य धर्म इति उक्तम्.

Avidya is now defined. सुख संगेन सुखी अहम् इति विषय भूतस्य सुखस्य विषयिनी आत्मनि संश्लेष आपादानम्—-मृषा एव सुखे संजनम् इति—सा एव अविद्या. This means that sukh which is essentially of vishaya bhoot (kshetra) is attributed to vishayi aatma (kshetrajna)—is mrisha (false)—that is avidya.

So, basically avidya is superimposing the dharma (characteristics) of kshetra (which is vishaya) in dharma of kshetrajna (which is vishayi).

In 14.19, कार्य करण आकार परिणतेभ्यो गुणेभ्य: कर्तारम्. Needless to state, it is same as prakriti.

Further, यया च ईश्वर शक्त्या—ब्रह्म प्रवर्तते—स शक्ति: ब्रह्म एव—शक्ति शक्तिमतो अनन्यत्वात्.

In 15.1, ब्रह्म अव्यक्त माया शक्तिमत् तद् मूलम्. This means that avayktmayashaktimat Brahm is the root of the ashvatha.

In 15.4, the word purush is used. While explaining as to which purush, Shankara says that यत: यस्मात् पुरुषात्, संसार माया वृक्षा प्रवृत्ति: नि:सृता—ऐंद्रजालिकाद् इव माया .

In 15.7, while explaining the word mamaivansho, Shankara says as follows:-

मम् एव परमात्मन: अंश:—जीवलोके जीवभूत: —-भोक्ता कर्ता इति प्रसिद्ध:.

यथा जल सूर्यक: सूर्य अंशो—-जल निमित्त अपाये —सूर्यम् एव गत्वा—-न निवर्तते

तथा

अयं अपि (भोक्ता/कर्ता) अंश:, तेन एव आत्मना संगच्छति

यथा व घट आदि उपाधि परिच्छिन्न घट आदि आकाश आकाश अंश:—घट आदि निमित्त अपाये—-आकाशम् प्राप्यम् न निवर्तते .

Thus, it is very clear that the relationship between Ishwara and jiva is like that between sun and its reflections in several waters or that between space and several pot spaces.

However, such analogies presume the separate existence of water bodies or pots as upadhis, which cannot be permitted in Ishwara. To explain this difficulty out, Shankara says that न एष दोष: अविद्या कृत उपाधि परिच्छिन्न —अंश इव कल्पित:.

This explanation is very-very conceptual. This explains that kshetra (akin to ghat or water body in the analogy) is caused by avidya. And through that, jiva is IMAGINED as a part.   

Coming to another concept of kshara and akshara purush, in 15.16, क्षर: च क्षरति— इति क्षर: विनाशि—एको राशि:–अपर: पुरुष:.

अक्षर: तत् विपरीत:—भगवतो मायाशक्ति:—क्षर आख्यस्य पुरुषस्य उत्पत्तिबीजम्.

Thus, we see that kshara purush is basically (kshetra – avyakta) and akshara purush is avykata. Both kshara and akshar purush combined is kshetra.

कौ तौ पुरुषौ?

क्षर: सर्वाणि भूतानि समस्तम् विकारजातम्

कूटस्थ कूट राशि इव स्थित:—अथवा—कूटो माया वंचना जिह्मता कुटिलता इति पर्याया—-कूटस्थ: संसारबीजम् न क्षरति इति अक्षर   

So, basically,

Samsarvriksha = kshar purush

Samsar vriksha utpatti bijam = akshar purush = avyakta = maya (15.1)

Kshar purush + Akshar Purush = Kshetra (13.6)

In 15.18, यस्मात् क्षरम् अतीतम् अहम् —संसार माया वृक्षम् अश्वत्थाख्यम् अतिक्रांत: अहम् अक्षराद् अपि—संसार वृक्ष बीज भूताद् अपि च उत्तम उत्कृष्टतम् ऊर्ध्वतम् वा अत:—क्षर अक्षराभ्यां उतमत्त्वाद अस्मि

Coming to the original topic of avidya and avyakta, it is said in 7.4, अहंकार इति अविद्या संयुक्तम् अव्यक्तम्. Further, यथा विष संयुक्तम् अन्नम् विषम् उच्यते –एवं—अहंकार वासनावद् अव्यक्तम् मूल कारणम् अहंकार उच्यते. So, it is still not very clear as to the definition of ahamkar. For the time being, it can be understood as the feeling of ‘I’ in jiva. Ahamkar is srvasya pravritti bijam.

Just to reinforce, what we studied above, in 7.5, परा अपरे क्षेत्र क्षेत्रज्ञ लक्षणे प्रकृति द्वय द्वारेण अहम् सर्वज्ञ ईश्वर: जगत: कारणम्.

In 7.25, यया योगमायया समावृतम् मां लोको न अभिजानाति—न असौ योगमाया मदीया सती मम् ईश्वरस्य मायाविनो ज्ञानम् प्रतिबध्नाति—यथा—अन्यस्य अपि मायाविनो माया ज्ञानम् तत् वत्. It is apparent therefore that maya is used as the power of a magician. Just as the magic of magician cannot affect himself, in the same way the power of Ishwara, Maya cannot affect Ishwara.

From 8.3, we understand that param akshar is Brahm. The question was with respect to Brahm and therefore Param has to be connected to akshar and not Brahm. In 8.17 and 8.18, the discussion is with respect to the day and night of Prajapati, also known as Virat. अव्यक्तम् प्रजापते: स्वापावस्था .

There is, however, another avyakta different from this avyakta {(which avyakta—-पूर्वम उक्ताद् भूत ग्राम बीज भूताद् अविद्या लक्षणाम् अव्यक्त)===(we can understand it is akshar purush= maya= avyakta)}. And this avyakta is basically Uttam Purush, also confirmed by similarity in 8.21 and 15.6.

In 9.7, again to reinforce, सर्व भूतानि कौन्तेय प्रकृतिम् त्रिगुणात्मिकाम्—अपरा निकृष्टा—यांति—when—कल्प क्षये प्रलय काले। एवं अविद्या लक्षणा—प्रकृतिम् स्वाम् अधिष्ठाय. Both 9.7 and 9.8 are about apara prakriti.

The most conceptual part is as follows:-

मया सर्वतो दृशि मात्र स्वरूपेण (having only the swaroop of drashta)—अविक्रियात्मना—अध्यक्षेण—मम् माया त्रिगुणात्मिका अविद्या लक्षणा प्रकृति (अपरा)—सूयते, उत्पादयति स चर अचरम् जगत्   

It can therefore be safely concluded that Maya = Avyakta = Avidya.  

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