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Re: superstitions (1 of 2)

In article <38p3o9$kkp@ucunix.san.uc.edu>, vidya@cco.caltech.edu (Vidyasankar Sundaresan) writes:
|> the strong advaitic bent of the BrhadAraNyaka upanishad's "aham  
|> brahmAsmi", than the bogus reference you quote to "disprove" advaita. 
|> Also, please explain crystal clear advaitic statements like tat tvam asi,  
|> ayamAtmA brahma, and sarvam khalvidam brahma etc. in the Upanishads  
|> according to the bheda doctine of yours.

Ah-hah! Now we've come to the heart of the matter. I can
go for it, but not without quoting the Smrti work Bhagavad Gita.
If you don't accept Bhagavad Gita because it is Smrti, then
I guess this whole discussion was pointless. But Sankara
and others accept the Bhagavad Gita as the essence of all
the Sruti Upanishads, so I'm sure that everyone here
will also accept Bhagavad Gita.

"aham brahmasmi" translates to exactly what it looks like, regardless
of what school you belong to. "I am Brahman." I am pure spirit
soul. I have nothing to do with this material manifestation or
this material body. This is the literal, crystal-clear
explanation of this Vedic axiom.

The mistake made by the Mayavadis is to think that this means
"I am the Supreme." To counter this, look at the glorification
of Krishna given by Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 10, verses
12 and 13, in which Arjuna calls Krishna "param brahma" -- the
Supreme Brahman, the Supreme Absolute Truth. Sometimes the
jivas are also called "brahma", but never "param brahma". 

This distinction can also be seen in the Invocation to the
Sruti work Isopanisad.

om purnam adah purnam idam

"This is complete, and that is also complete"

The verse continues to make it clear that while the complete parts
come from the whole, the whole nevertheless remains complete.
The jivas are eternally fragmented pieces of the Supreme (also
refer to BG 15.7), so they must be of the same constitution.
This is why it is possible to have a relationship with the
Supreme Lord, the primary aim of the bhakti school. It
is elsewhere shown (in the Bhagavata Purana) that the residents
of the Vaikuntha planets have 4 arms, bluish skin, & weapons
just like Lord Narayana, but they never mistake themselves
for the Supreme Lord. They are infallible, as stated in (BG 15.16),
but they know that there is another, a Purusottama, who is even
greater still (BG 15.18)

So, it is absolutely crystal clear what "aham brahmAsmi" means:
"I am Brahman". The problem lies with an interpretation of this
verse which does not take into account other revealed scriptures,
but instead substitutes the word "supreme" for Brahman. These
shallow interpretation cause the Veda to lose its wonderful
literal meaning.

Vaisnavas also use this verse, specifically to refer to the
distinction between material body and individual spiritual soul.

The other phrases you have quoted follow as above. Note that
none of them use the words "param" <which conveys supremacy>
or "para" <which conveys both superiority & otherness>.

|> S. Vidyasankar

-- Vijay

PS: The doctrine is called acintya-bhedabheda-tattva

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