Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Bhaja Govindam- the philosophy of Sankara -part 3

             We are  seeing  the  Advaita  philosophy  ,which holds  the  Atma  ,the  chaitanyam  as   the  cause  and  anatma, the  material  universe  as  the  effect. . The  effect  does not  have  an  independent  existence  of  its  own  , it  depends  on the  cause  for  its  existence,  like  ornaments  do  not exist  independent   of  gold . So  the  effect  is  cause  with only  different  names  and  forms. . The  whole  universe  is  only  just  names  and  forms  on  the  only  substance  called  Brahman / Atma . This  the  acharya  tried  to  explain  with  the  famous  snake-rope  illusion. .  The  rope   when  seen  in poor  light  is  mistaken  for  a  snake   and  creates  fear  in the  mind  of  the  one  who  sees  it  as a  snake,  In  reality  , there  is  no snake  ,when  he  sees  the  rope  in  proper  light, he  sees  it  as  a snake  only.   The  snake  was  superimposed  on  the  rope  due  to  ignorance and  when  the  right  knowledge  of  the  rope  dawns  on him  , he  sees  not  the  snake  but  the  rope  only. 

           Similarly ,  due to   the  ignorance  of  the  Self,  we  have  superimposed  the  universe  on Brahman  . When  the  ignorance  is  removed  by  knowledge  , then  the   jnani does  not  give  reality  to this  universe . . He  sees  Brahman  in its  place.  Brahman  becomes  the  adhishtanam  for  all  the   different  names  and  forms.  He  thus  established  the  Advaita  philosophy  of  'brahma  satyam  ,jagan  mithya,  and  jiva  brahma  Aikyam.  We  have  seen  the  details  of  this  in previous  pages. . It  should  be  remembered  by  all  ,that  whatever  he  tried  to  establish  through  his  reasoning  and  logic  were  not  his  own  original  thoughts. He  did  not  propound  any  new  theory  but  revived  the  teachings  of  his  own  guru  Govinda  bhagavadpada  , and  his  guru  Gaudapada charya. 

      About  the  acharya   ,Pujya  Gurudev . Swami  Chinmayananda  says, " Sankara  is  not  an  individual  . He  is  an  institution. . No  single  person could  ever  have  achieved   what  he  had  achieved  in his  short  span  of  life . No  master  or  prophet had  ever  achieved  so  much  for  so  many  in so  short  a  life  of  32  years .Very  often  this  tempts  us  to consider  the  acharya as  an  avatara "  He  is  generally  believed  to  be  an  avatara  of Lord  Shiva .

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