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False notions of Truth

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tks

Well-known member
To me (ब्रह्मा+अर्पणम्) seems wrong. It should be ब्रह्म+अर्पणम् ??
Per Sandhi rule

Panini Rule number 6.1.101 is
अकः सवर्णे दीर्घः
akaḥ savarṇe dīrghaḥ

it is fine
 

auh

New member
Per Sandhi rule

Panini Rule number 6.1.101 is
अकः सवर्णे दीर्घः
akaḥ savarṇe dīrghaḥ

it is fine
I queried not about the sandhi rule but about your usage.

So what then is the difference between ब्रह्म & ब्रह्मा ?? Pls can you clarify?
 

tks

Well-known member
I queried not about the sandhi rule but about your usage.

So what then is the difference between ब्रह्म & ब्रह्मा ?? Pls can you clarify?
One denotes in usage Brahman, the other Brahma (the creator)

The point that was made in usage of examples is to show how Dwitha school of thought arrives at exactly the opposite meaning (Tatvam Asi is in their thinking actually Atatvam Asi)
 

auh

New member
One denotes in usage Brahman, the other Brahma (the creator)

The point that was made in usage of examples is to show how Dwitha school of thought arrives at exactly the opposite meaning (Tatvam Asi is in their thinking actually Atatvam Asi)
So how does ब्रह्मन् change to ब्रह्मा ?
 

auh

New member
The argument that AtmA+atat(आत्मा+अतत् ) cannot happen just as brahmaa + ashiraha(ब्रह्मा+अशिरः) cannot is not valid. In the word brahmārpanam (ब्रह्मार्पणम्), it cannot be split as brahma+ rpanam (ब्रह्मा+ र्पणम्), but it can only be brahma+ arpanam (ब्रह्मा+अर्पणम्). One cannot even argue that since rpanam is meaningless, it has to be arpanam. The argument that AtmA+atat(आत्मा+अतत् ) cannot happen is baseless, just as brahma+arpanam (ब्रह्मा+अर्पणम्) cannot happen is also baseless. AtmA+atat(आत्मा+अतत् ) means Atman+atat(आत्मन्+अतत् ).
I am trying to understand if the above is a valid argument presented by shri tks (assuming he has done the above grammar breakup and not quoted from any source).

So the whole argument hangs on whether AtmA tatvamasi can be broken down to Atman atatvamasi. Just as whether brahmArpanam can be broken down to brahman & arpanam.

If it is a piece of grammar, then why is it not pronounced as Atman atatvamasi? Any rules to support this?

Also why did not the father pronounce it so?
 

tks

Well-known member
Continuing from Post #78

The Dwitha school of thought includes beliefs about the reality of all beings, Jagat and Isvara.
Isvara is considered unattainable by Jiva and in their quest to be aligned with the Mahavakyas, they tried to interpret what it means.

By starting out with assigning reality to all beings and Jagat, they want to ensure that their model is fully aligned with Upanishad. It would be hard to write a commentary on each of the Upanishad and still maintain their model. There is a need to be aligned with Mahavakyas though and hence interpretation becomes important. Let me provide some rudimentary statements about Grammar for completeness.

There is always an effort to understand what the author of a given sentence actually meant. The word that describes that is called Vivaksha (विवक्षा)

Grammar rules help one to understand what the meaning is within a given context. In Sanskrit, the spoken language including many of the Vedic teaching came first, being passed on through generations orally. The grammar came later codified by Panini through couple of thousand rules or more. The idea of punctuation came later with introduction of vertical bars. The horizontal bar connecting the words need not stop at the word boundary and can extend.

When one knows the rules of Sandhi ( phonological processes that occur at word boundaries) or Samasa (how words are compounded), and other grammar rules, it is possible to get that विवक्षा in a given sentence or verse.

Even when one recites B.Gita verses, a good teacher will know where and how to break the verse so that the meaning is intact and that the grammar rules are satisfied. In fact there are certain verses where it is not possible to break up a line at all.

What Dwitha Aacharya did is to genuinely look at the Mahavkya uttered to Svetaketu for a meaning that supports their theology. They found that in terms of how the verse is supposed to be interpreted by using specific Sandhi rules. However, there are issues with the meaning in the context of what the teaching is all about ("what is the knowledge by which all other knowledge is known")

We have to recognize that there are limitations to any language when we try to express a point. Using a recent example, I can say that Isvara has to be understood and not believed. In this thread itself I pointed out the number of question as to the role of intellect in understanding a concept that cannot be defined by words. A slightly better expression might be 'Isvara has to be realized and not believed' and that may appeal to some but for others the question might be the intended meaning of realization and if that is tied to intellect or not.

What humans do is to listen what they want to hear and take away a meaning that fits their mental model.

The Visishta-Dwitha school of thought also has a model much like Dwitha model but with many differences.
This school of thought accepts three ultimate realities - Isvara, atma (chit), and matter (achit)
Isvara alone is considered independent and the other two are dependent on Him. The world of Chit and achit are considered as the body of Isvara.

Aprthak-siddhi or internal relation of inseparability is a notion wherein Isvara, Chit and achit are inseparable that forms the substratum of Visishtadwitha's Brahman. Therefore there is Isvara-Brahman, Chit-Brahman, and Achit-Brahman. The means of realization for jiva (Chit) is through devotion to Isvara and by prapatti (surrender)

When I refer to Sankara Bhashya I do so with some firsthand exposure to the teaching having been taught using the original Sanskrit commentaries with my barely acceptable knowledge of Sanskrit and Panini grammar. With other schools of thought my understanding is indirect having read about them. Hence, I hope my description above is more or less right.

As we see the model here is that Isvara the independent reality is qualified (visishta) by dependent reality of Chit and Achit in an inseparable way (hence their usage of the word Advita )

With this mental model, the same verse can be examined.

Tatvam Asi तत्त्वमसि is now interpreted differently.

Tatvam is viewed not as तत् त्वम् (tat and tvam as a Sandhi) but as तस्य त्वम् (Tasya Tvam) which is a Samasa or compounded word.

This fits perfectly with the model that the Jiva (Tvam) is part of the Isvara-Brahman. It still cannot answer the context as to how knowing this leads to knowing everything else. One can ponder if such a break up is justified.


Grammar people will object to this kind of Samasa interpretation for the following reasons

असि - Asi is the verb stating the equivalence
तत् - Tat - refers to a pronoun, and त्वम् - Tvam refers to another pronoun, and Asi (2nd case) is addressing Tvam.
This special case of compounding is called - tatpuruṣa (तत्पुरुष) compound wherein the first item (word) is related to the second word by a relation. Coupling two pronouns in this manner is not considered acceptable (that is what I have heard from Grammar experts)

As people who know nouns and their declension there are many cases of relationships ( Accusative , Instrumental, Dative, Ablative, Genitive, Locative, etc).

Of this Genitive specifies the 6th case where relationships between two nouns are asserted. For example King's men could be compounded as King-men (I just made that up for example, it may not be correct English Grammar). Here the relationship between men and King are that the men 'belong' to the King.

It turns out that Samasa used in the break up is a 6th case Genitive between nouns.

So Tat of Accusative has been interpreted to be 6th case relationship Tasya.
In Panini Grammar, relationship between two nouns are specified by 101 or so rules making it open ended for interpretation.

Here the interpretation is that Tvam is related to Tasya as being part of that Isvara.


You will find Tasya Tvam Asi understanding widely in books and in internet but will not find objections because people rarely object to Theology based interpretations.

The question for the reader is - is this force fitting of a model to the Mahavakya? No answers expected

(More later)
 

tks

Well-known member
There was a sermon by a TV evangelist (Baptist Church?) on Jan 22, 2017. Someone sent me this link in order to ask me some questions.
The topic area of the sermon was - False Teachings of Hinduism & the Bhagavad Gita

So I listened quickly to most of the sermon where he was attacking B.Gita teachings.

I found that the speaker had a translation of B.Gita by some author and had been informed to focus on certain key verses.


Youtube link (at 20 minutes into the presentation) is given below where his attack of Hindu teachings begin. He starts by saying that 1 billion Hindus are destined to Hell for eternity.

https://youtu.be/WOvQnZ1Xoc0?t=1194

So here is a fellow who believes most Hindus (1 billion) are destined to go to hell worshiping demonic God. He think he knows the truth.
Will it be productive to have a conversation with such a fellow? Obviously not because he is caught in the cocoon of his beliefs until death.

I shared this for couple of reasons. I think there is a fear in the Christian nations that Hindu ideas are creeping into their mainstream interests. This sermon was to arrest that.

Second, it is not possible in the world to teach those that are not ready. Most human beings can acquire basic skills needed to understand our scriptures but they need this elusive Shraddha and a determination to know the truth.

Being able to understand what is false is the first step.
 

tks

Well-known member
Religious beliefs are based on imaginations of some groups of people in the history of a given religion. To the followers, it is the truth and nothing but the truth.

Those that call themselves Advitins, also believe what they read or hear about Brahman, Maya, etc.

Those that call themselves atheists are also believers of some kind that no God exists. Often they have false notions of the power of intellect itself.

As such it is not respectful or possible to have a reasoned discussions about a belief .

Only when there is an attempt to present reasons to justify a belief like proclaiming how their belief is aligned with the teachings of the Upanishad or B.Gita, it is possible to examine if the claims are justified.

Sri Sankara had written extensive commentaries in order to ensure that wrong notions do not take hold when one studies our knowledge scriptures. In his commentaries, Sri Sankara goes to a great extent presenting opposing viewpoints and objections to the interpretation he offers. By stating the objections of various prevailing schools of thought in a lucid manner better than the advocate of a given school of thought even could, Sri Sankara ensure the responses to the objections are rooted in understanding.

Sri Ramanuja follows a similar approach in his commentaries titled Sri Bhashya. He expounds the basic tenets of the so called Advita Vedanta before presenting the prevailing objections in a cogent manner. These are often referred to as the seven untenable.
It all centers around the concept of Avidya and its locus. Much of Sri Bhashya is spent on providing these objections before introducing his own theology that was briefly described earlier.

There are issues with the untenable as presented because not only has Sri Sankara raised them many centuries earlier but responded to them fully. These seven untenable are but minor modifications of the objections (as purvapaksha) raised by Sri Sankara. Unless Sri Sankara's Bhashya was not readily available for Sri Ramanuja it is hard for me to imagine why he would pose the same objections already addressed and resolved completely by Sri Sankara.

I would like to offer specific references to Sri Sankara's Bhashya where he raises the objections and resolves them. These are based on my limited exposure to these teachings first hand.

1. Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13, verse 2 - Bhashya
2. Brahadaranya Upanishad 3.8.12 Bhashya
3. Adhyasa Bhashya as intro to Brahma sutra and Bhashya associated with many other sutras.

There are more but the above list is a representative sample.

What I found in some work devoted to attacking the so called 'mayavadis' is that the objections raised are exactly the same that Sri Sankara had raised and resolved already in this commentaries.

Unless one is committed to knowing the truth (and we are only talking about relative truth with respect to what is false) it is not possible to have a reasoned discussion with one steeped in blindly following a given religion.

There are two more posts remaining and then I will conclude this thread.
 
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tks

Well-known member
Of late modern day physicists have started advancing their own schools of thought. Many of these are similar to say Veisesika (वैशेषिक) school of thought where they have a notion of a Paramanu being the seminal concept making up the Jagat etc. Many scientists of today are unable to explain consciousness because they cannot see a clear connection to the so called Big Bang event. Yet many think that proper arrangement of atoms can give rise to consciousness leading only to all kinds of science fiction stories.

I came across a fascinating book titled - "Our Mathematical Universe" by Max Tegmark who is a pioneering Physicist at MIT.
He leads a fascinating discussion in his book to answer questions like If space is infinite, what may have brought about the Big Bang and what do we understand about the so called dark matter and dark energy. He is the pioneering scientist who was able to mathematically model and help visualize the cosmic microwave radiation, which is the so called faint afterglow of the Big Bang. He showed earliest pictures of our universe when it was only 400,000 years old (current age of the universe is about 13.6 Billion years). He discusses clues to support theories about so called inflation when the universe expanded unimaginably rapidly right after the Big Bang.

He observes that Mathematics and mathematical constructs have been very effective in describing matter. While mathematics is the language of Physics, mathematics itself stands on its own with many theories developed seemingly with no applications. The number theory about prime numbers recently found applications in the whole field of encryption that is taken for granted in all web communications for example. Similarly a field called Riemannian Geometry was established 50+ years before it was used in Einstein's theory of relativity. Most of the mathematics, especially the abstract mathematics exist independent of human mind or its applications and could be considered foundational to understanding our nature and the universe around is. This is called Mathematical Platonism being 'believed' by many scientists.

Tegmark has a variation to the above school of thought and thinks that physical reality itself is a mathematical structure which he calls this the Mathematical Universe Hypothesis. It is true that an electron is indeed a mathematical construct rather than the traditional view of it being a tiny particle. Tegmark thinks that you and I are patterns in space-time to be described by mathematical structures. He thinks that consciousness is the way information feels when being processed in a certain complex manner.

While I like his book for presenting the latest of the cosmology and physics, I could not agree with his 'school of thought'. His notions are false not just because he cannot understand consciousness as more fundamental. It is because his own thinking violates one of the mathematical theorem called the 'Incompleteness theorem' which asserts that in any sufficiently consistent mathematical theory there will be true statements that cannot be decided within that theory. While Tegmark makes adaptations to force-fit his thinking within the confines of the incompleteness theorem, there are lot of holes and hence there are more questions than answers with his line of thinking.

I will conclude with why I chose to discuss the false notions of truth and what one can pursue in their quest to know the truth.
 

tks

Well-known member
We live in this universe of opposites. If there is an attribute X , it automatically defines in our mind the existence of its opposite also. Therefore our mind can only deal with the worlds of opposites.

Our mind cannot understand or comprehend what is absolute truth since anything we can think defines the opposite also making what we see as truth to be a relative truth only.

It can be shown that absolute truth exist by many ways including a mathematical manner that was discussed earlier. Asking about 'use' of this itself is valid only in a relative sense. Absolute truth will lead to absolute freedom.

For now we strive to know the relative truth only by understanding what is false. This is not as easy as it may seem because our mind is wired with all kinds of wrong notions and using our mind to discern the falsehood is not easy.

I raised questionsat many stages of this thread for those that 'believe' in our knowledgescriptures. The purpose is to show that unless one has clarity in answeringthose questions, their understanding is not really an understanding but made upof a set of blind beliefs only.

Our knowledgescriptures not only include teaching of the truth as to who we are and whatthis universe/multiverse is all about, but also present a method ofteaching that can transmit the knowledge 100% from one human being to another.

In my limited exploration over the past decades, I have yet to find a way to refute the key teachings of our knowledge scriptures. I approach anything new with skepticism only to be proven wrong later. Without Sri Sankara's commentary and a qualified set of teachers it is not possible to get an end to end picture that completely resolves all the questions I have raised in this thread and much more. Obviously I am not enlightened but I now know what I don’t know.Previously I did not know even what I did not know.

In this thread I have not shared anything new that is notconsistent with the teachings in our knowledge scriptures. What may seem new,if at all, is only a style of presentationand the emphasis. I can be corrected byanyone qualified if they see any mistake in my interpretations.

In this forum, the qualifications to be a member is only to hold a valid email address. Only our writing can reveal what we know. Anyone is welcome to ask questions but if someone wants to put forth their own views my expectation is that their writing should be relevant and scholarly.


This thread of postsis not intended to ask anyone to change their beliefs. The intent is to showpossible conflicts and contradictions so that one can define their own personaljourney and discover the truth for themselves.Though the basic message of our knowledge scriptures is simple enabling us toachieve Moksha, the path to it may not be simple. The reason is that we need tofulfill certain pre-requisites, subdue our ego and erase long held falsenotions. That is the hardest part of it all in my view.

If someone does nothave the Shraddha and the quest to know the truth, it is not possible to makeprogress. In an open forum such as this, my intent is to engage positively withanyone that satisfy the above two criteria even if a person lacks certain attributes.I have many shortcomings and I fully understand if someone is not able toabstract things because those can all be overcome if there is sincerity ofintent to learn the truth at all cost.

Many think that ifthey just pray to Isvara everything will be fine. While prayer can produce apeace of mind , it alone cannot get us to know the truth of our existence. Liberation is actually about knowing the truthof our existence.

While Isvara's graceis needed for one to succeed in their quest, a false notion is that Isvaraoffers grace to only those that pray. If there is such an Isvara that will tantamount to a Dosha in the creation. In fact Brahman Sutra asserts thefollowing

Vaisamyanairghriny adhikaranam
Isvarais neither partial nor cruel.


Vaishamyanairghrinye na sapekshatvat tatha hidarsayati II
Partiality and cruelty cannot be ascribed to Isvara on account of considering reasons (such as Dharma/Karma etc)






The first step is to start understanding what is false. That is beautifully articulated in the first line of this Mantra.

ॐ असतो मा सद्गमय ।
तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय ।
मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय।
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिःशान्तिः ॥

Om Asato MaaSad-Gamaya |
Tamaso MaaJyotir-Gamaya |
Mrtyor-Maa AmrtamGamaya |
Om Shaantih ShaantihShaantih ||

The simple meaning is

Lead us fromfalsehood to truth,
Lead us fromdarkness to light,
Lead us from death to the deathlessness


This thread is tohelp raise questions so that a sincere Sadhakas may attempt to understandfalsehood and lead themselves to the Truth!

Om Tat Sat

 

renuka

Well-known member
Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh, and too self-full to seek other than itself.
-- Kabir (1440-1518),
 

tks

Well-known member
So how does ब्रह्मन् change to ब्रह्मा ?
I thought I had answered all relevant questions but just noticed this.

ब्रह्मन् is the nominal stem also called प्रातिपदिकम् which is derived from the verbal root brh which means to expand, to grow (one can consult a dictionary to get the exact meaning of the verbal root)

ब्रह्म is the nominative singular derived by modifications (Pratyaya) of the nominal stem which is neuter gender.
ब्रह्मा is also the nominative singular derived by modifications of the same nominal stem which is masculine in gender referring to Prajapati (creator). I received some other questions privately and if the response is relevant here I will post them later .
 

tks

Well-known member
Some Questions I received privately as part of a discussion (and it is paraphrased in my language)

1. Why only describe false notions? Are there simple answers to these questions that can be shared here? If so, why not share them? The idea of going to a Guru or dedicate lot of time is not realistic to most of us.
2. Teaching, it is said, is supposed to enhance humility. In removing false notions can a person become more humble? Do you think you are humble?
3. Where in the internet can I find resources to get answers to some of the questions you have raised.
4. You have not participated or even acknowledged some responses, why?

My responses:

1. There are simple answers that can be provided to some of the questions I have raised. I have not offered them here because those responses will raise other legitimate questions as well as irrelevant/illogical/odious responses/questions. Since I do not want to engage with the later I did not want to offer any 'answers'. False notions cannot be debated because one can verify the contradictions. One does not have to go to a Guru to learn. One can get engaged in satsang with others. I have peer-students who I 'teach' and I have peer-teachers who I consult when I do not understand something. Over time the questions will be resolved. There are only two pre-requisites. A genuine desire to learn and a Shraddha (sincerity in any engagement)

2. There is a verse that goes like this

विद्या ददाति विनयं विनयाद्याति पात्रताम् ।
पात्रत्वाद्धनमाप्नोति धनाद्धर्मं ततः सुखम् ॥


vidyA dadAti vinayaM, vinayAdyAti pAtratAM |
pAtratvAddhanamApnoti, dhanAddharmaM tataH sukhaM​

Translation: Properknowledge gives rise to humility/courage , from humility/courage comes a senseof self-worth, from that one gets wealth leading to good deeds which results inhappiness.

I purposely translated the word vinayaM as humility/courage.

This kind of verse is often abused by those with limited knowledge. They use this to question others as to their 'levels of humility'.

Within many Indian groups (not all) and people of Indian origin, there is a false notion of humility which is about a certain type of appearance to others.

What such a verse teaches, can only be applied to oneself. It is not meant to be used as a stick to cast aspersions on others.

So the teaching of our scriptures do lead to true humility/courage. Whether I am humble or someone else is humble or not is not going to contribute to the questioner's self-growth. People can use their capacity to judge whether what I write has value or not. If it does not they are free to reject it.

If they want to engage, I have always offered detailed responses if the questions posed seem to have a genuine intent. Yes in arriving at whether a given question or comment has a genuine intent, I do make a judgement that is unavoidable in this Vyavaharika world.

The humility is often mistaken as being meek and courage is often mistaken as arrogance. The reason humility and courage are two sides of the same coin is because they arise from the same knowledge-base. If I am describing something that is not my own (and have no ego vested in it) I can respond to criticism without feeling anything because what I am presenting is not my own. I can be wrong in my understanding in which case I am open to listening to others provided they have demonstrated their qualifications by what they write here with reference to our scriptures. There is humility because praise of anything written has nothing to do with me because I am just parroting what is in our scriptures.

3. Internet is not a place for getting proper knowledge in my view. At best they can serve as a pointer to real sources. One will not find what I have written elsewhere because I have provided is my own way of presentation of traditional teaching using my own words. I have provided references when it is appropriate. Answers to some of the questions may be available by lectures of teachers who have gone through proper Sampradaya of learning. A better approach would be to start investing time to learn B.Gita (in the beginning any book would do though one must be willing to revise one's ideas later) , participate in a Satsang, and listen to lectures of Mahatmas that are qualified (e.g., Chinmaya Mission teachers just to give one example)

4. Not all responses are relevant to the topic area. In general, not just talking about this thread only, but on certain topic areas some responses arise out of Dvesha (hatred) that is deep, some come out of the need to appear as intellectual to others in the 'peanut gallery' and some out of perpetual need to argue without content or logic. Some just do not want to understand and twist what is said and argue against a strawman, some have nothing to say and hence turn to attack on the poster etc. These posts are best avoided since they are distractions.

Since the question included about me also, let me say that all my adult life I have lived in USA. Here we have no issues voicing disagreements, we like to be straightforward and even blunt when responding. I had to develop over the years a certain Kshatriya attitude in order to survive and thrive where I live.
 

chiddu

New member
Asathoma satgamaya, We human move from smaller truth to bigger truth. "Sat" or "Truth" expands withe the expanding knowledge of humans.
 

tks

Well-known member
Asathoma satgamaya, We human move from smaller truth to bigger truth. "Sat" or "Truth" expands withe the expanding knowledge of humans.
Welcome to the forum ! .. You are right that as our knowledge expands, our understanding of the laws of nature expands. Sat is not just about nature only though.
 
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