Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Advaita Travel Agency

In the Taittiriya Upanishad commentary Shankara mentions this element of the achievements of the liberated soul in the conditioned realm of Brahman:

(Remaining established in his own nature, he moves on enjoying happiness) in the company of women or with vehicles. (from Chandogya Up. VIII.xii.3)(

This is the claim of the opponent to the advaitin view of the realisation of the unconditioned Brahman. How very like to the ideals promoted in television car ads. Shankara of course dismisses this limited view:

Women and others can exist only in the conditioned Brahman but not in the unconditioned, according to such Vedic texts as: “One only without a second” (Ch.Up.VI.ii.1)….

A few paragraphs before that Shankara deprecates the need for any sort of metaphysical transport or vehicle.

And hence liberation is not an achievable result. A traveller has to reach a place which is different from himself. Not that the very place that is non-different from oneself can be reached by oneself. And this follows from the well-known fact of identity of Vedic and Smrti texts such as “Having created it (the world) , He entered into it” (Tai.Up.II.vi.1), “Know the individual soul also to be myself”(Gita. XIII.2)

Where are you off to?

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