Sunday, 23 October 2016

A Method of Enlightening the Disciple Upadesa Sahasri (4 )


I was going to attempt to clarify the advaitic theory of how an object comes to be an object or how an object can be an object and at the same time have the non-numerical identity of being an object ‘in’ us. On consideration, interesting as that is, it would be a divagation from the actual course of the Upadesa Sahasri. One might consider it the ontological arm of the advaitic philosphy whereas the work under consideration focusses on the epistemological. The question that might ensue for the specialist in Indian philosophy is whether this onto/episto characterisation be not a Western confection from the sweet shop of Teutonic Hellenism. Certainly, maybe, remembering that Non-Dualism (a-dvaita) is reflected with only local refraction in what we know and how we know. In Upadesa Sahasri the weight of the inquiry is on the latter. The opening up of this anfratuous path proceeds by the progressive sublation of previous views, a procedure knows a adhiropa/apavada.

We start from where we are, immersed in a world where the ego is set over and against the other out there. Even scripture seem to reflect this with its injunctions and prohibitions.

41. If it be so, Sir, why do the Srutis speak of diverse ends to be attained, their means and so forth, as also the evolution and the dissolution of the universe ?

42. The answer to your question is this: Having acquired (having identified himself with) the various things such as the body and the rest, considering the Self to be connected with what is desirable and what is undesirable and so on, though eager to attain the desirable and avoid the undesirable by appropriate means - for without certain means nothing can be accomplished - an ignorant man cannot discriminate between the means to the realisation of what is (really) desirable for him and the means to the avoidance of what is undesirable. It is the gradual removal of this ignorance that is the aim of the scriptures; but not the enunciation of (the reality of) the difference of the end, means and so on. For, it is this very difference that constitutes this undesirable transmigratory existence. The scriptures, therefore, root out the ignorance constituting this (false) conception of difference which is the cause of phenomenal existence by giving reasons for the oneness of the evolution, dissolution, etc., of the universe.
(from U.S. Chap.1: 41,42)


No comments: