Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Yajnavalkya's 'injunction' to Maitreyi/ Brh.Up. IV.v.6

If you take everything to be true in the Vedas down to the last jot and tittle then you fall into trouble with expressions which seem to be injunctions. Texts like ‘the self should be seen etc’ are problematic

This being so, effective knowledge that the Absolute is one’s own true Self does not proceed from any form of command to act, since its subject-matter is reality in its true nature (knowledge of which is to be passively received). There is therefore no room for an injunction here. pg. 406 M.O.V.

In the Panchapadika Padmapada maintains that they are purely of a figurative nature. They are a form of eulogy somewhat like:
- This is a beautiful country.
- You should see it on a fine day.

I myself am reminded of the idiomatic usage of ‘should’ as in
- If you climb that hill and look to your left you should see old Squire Trelawney’s place.

There is no sense here of an injunction only the carrying out of certain actions. Maitreyi being told ‘It should be seen’, It should be heard about’ by Yajnavalkya has already achieved a profound state of dispassion. She is tired of the eternal round of transmigration. Now ‘at the top of the hill’ as it were, she should see the self.

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