Mananam, Nididhyasanam, Brahman is Neither Sat-Asat (143)

Mananam, Nididhyasanam, Brahman is Neither Sat-Asat (143)


Lesson 143 speaks of other schools of philosophies. End of 20 values. What is Brahman NOT?

Source: Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13, Verse 11, 12.

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13, Verse 11:

  • Value 19: Commitment to Self-Knowledge: 3 Pillars. Intimately discerning limits 3 puruśārthas. Reminder to remain focused on 4th (least popular goal)… inquiry into 3 pillars and devotion.
  • Value 20: Understanding the Validity of Self-Knowledge: Knowing what objective scriptures play in reference to 4th goal. They are a compass how to navigate complex world of duality, and interpret existence.
    • Sacred texts (upon inquiry can’t be contradicted). Only misinterpreted by novice minds (not trained to think beyond the words).
      • EG:
        1. Spouse (seemingly) compliments you, but underlining intention is to gently bring light to a sensitive matter.
        2. Insect in jungle, shape of a stick (phasmids). Why a stick? Infer: To camouflage into forest.
        3. Why do sea turtles lay over 100 eggs on beach? Hint: Seagulls/ocean.
  • 3 Processes for Self-Knowledge / Scriptures to Work:
    1. Śravaṇam: Temporarily suspending one’s sense of “I heard this before and like / didn’t like it”, and listening from freshness.
    2. Manana:
      • You are not expected to understand all at once.
      • What is manana? You voice out doubts to improve the understanding of mahavakyas. What kind of doubts?…
      • 3 Kinds of doubts are brought up:
        1. Own doubts.
        2. Others doubts.
        3. Doubts of scholars. Those who interpret Vedas. EG:
          • Pūrva-mīmāṃsikā:
            • Say moksha is going to a better place, then coming back to earth.
          • Viśiṣṭādvaita:  
            • Basis: There is only one entity, Ishvara. And you are part of Ishvara.
            • When you understand you're not apart from Isvara, then upon videha-mukti is being in Vaikuntha with Ishvara forever.
            • It stops at final reality being Ocean. Vishva-rupa (in CH11 of B.G) shown to Arjuna, is the final reality to Vishishtadvaitans.
          • Dvaitains:
            • Basis: I am separate from you / world / Bhagavan.
            • Mindset, “I want to be reborn over and over so I can be Krishna’s loving devotee, pleasing Him“. EG: ISCON.
            • Every religion operates within Dvaita.
            • NOTE: Both Dvaita and Advaita teachings are coming from Lord.
              • Hence Advaita doesn't negate Dvaita. But it's the final culmination of all your sincere Dvaita efforts. Meaning all the dvaita prayers, devotion one did… ultimately got you to Advaita.
              • Thus to come to Advaita, one need (1) grace (2) tremendous punya, to embrace and accept Advaita teaching.
      • Considering many schools, how to know who is interpreting Upanishads correctly?
        • Through analysis (mimamsa). Engaging with scholarly people and have to defend what you're saying (instead of saying “I'm right“).
        • Whoever is capturing what Upanishads are saying, that view can't be contradicted.
        • If someone is adding personal spin to Upanishads, at some point a fallacy of logic will be exposed.
    3. Nididhyasanam:
      • Required because for lifetimes jīva lived as individual, “I have to be enmeshed in this world, I have to get stuff to be happy”.
  • With respect to all 20 values: Knowing what I now know, how can I incorporate these values into thoughts, emotions, words and actions?
    1. When unsure how to respond appropriately: Pause.
    2. Attempt to remember the teaching.
    3. Reply or act in accordance to your memory of the teaching.


    • Value 1: amānitvam: Absence of demanding validation/respect.
    • Value 2: adhambhitam: Absence of pretense (making up stories).
    • Value 3: ahiṃsā: Deliberation of thought/word/action.
    • Value 4: kṣānti: Accommodation / Glad Acceptance of WHAT-IS.
    • Value 5: ārjavam: Straightforwardness (Alignment of thought/word/action).
    • Value 6: ācāryopāsanam: Service to teacher.
    • Value 7: śaucam: Inner & outer cleanliness.
    • Value 8: sthairyam: Steadfastness (Persistence).
    • Value 9: ātmavinigraha: Mastery/Management of the Mind.
    • Value 10: indriyārtheṣu vairāgyam: Dispassion Through Objectivity.
    • Value 11: anahaṅkāra: Healthy “I-Sense”.
    • Value 12: anudarśanam: Reflecting on 5-fold limitations.
    • Value 13: asaktiḥ: Absence of Sense of Ownership.
    • Value 14: anabhiṣvangaḥ: Absence of Obsession over Wife, Son, House.
    • Value 15: nityam samacittatvam: Constant Equanimity.
    • Value 16: ananya-bhakti: Unswerving Devotion to Lord.
    • Value 17: vivikta-deśa-sevitvam: Preference for Solitude.
    • Value 18: aratiḥ jana-saṃsadi: Absence of Craving for Social Interactions.
    • Value 19: tattva-jñānārtha darśanam: Commitment to Self-Knowledge.
    • Value 20: adhyātma-jñāna-nityatvam: Understanding the Validity of Self-Knowledge.




Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13, Verse 12:

  • So far Krishna completed 3 topics:
    • kṣetram: world.
    • kṣetrajña: Awareness shining through the gross-subtle-causal body.
    • Jñānam: 20 values.
  • 3 More topics remain:
    • Jñeyam: V12-18.
    • prakṛti
    • puruṣaḥ
  • What is jñeyam?
    • yat tat pravakṣyāmi; that which is to be known, eventually (after qualified mind of 20 values). It’s synonym for kṣetrajña.
  • What specifically is to be known? Brahman.
  • What is Brahman?
    • Brahman means Consciousness.
      • 2 types of Consciousness:
        1. Empirical: state of mind (biological/physiological/psychological processes).
        2. Absolute: witness of empirical. Brahman refers to #2.
  • Brahman is:
    • Neither sat nor asat.
      • EFFECT: Sat.
        • 2 meanings. Both defined as “IS”.
          1. Manifest (effect / present here-now). EG: Manifest body. Glass (sat) is in my hand.
          2. Existing as an object of knowledge. EG: Pumpkin is evident as an existent object of knowledge.
      • CAUSE: Asat.
        • 2 meanings. Both defined as “IS-NOT”.
          1. Unmanifest (absent / in causal-potential state). EG: Boss (asat) is not in office. Inherent tendencies (EG: eating style).
          2. Non-existing: EG: Pumpkin-beard. Rabbits-horns. Sky flowers. Square-circle.
    • Brahman is neither. It illumines the presence of both.
      • EG: Pumpkin (sat) is evident as an existing thing (in presence of Brahman). Square-circle is also evident as a non-existing thing (in presence of Brahman).
      • Meaning, IS and IS-NOT… are evident to Brahman, and do not condition Brahman. Why can't Brahman be sat/asat? Logic in NEXT SESSION….


Keywords: purva-mimamsa, purva-mimamsika, Vishishtadvaita


Credit for help in Bhagavad Gita teaching given to Swami Dayananda (Arsha Vidya), Paramarthananda & Chinmaya Mission.

Recorded 14 Sept, 2021


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