5.16 jñānena tu tad ajñānaṁ (Original)

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

Chapter 5

<< Chapter 5 verse 15

Simple

jñānena tu tad ajñānaṁ
yeṣāṁ nāśitam ātmanaḥ
teṣām āditya-vaj jñānaṁ
prakāśayati tat param

‘But, for the ātmas whose ignorance is destroyed by knowledge, their extraordinary intelligence illumines (all) like the Sun.’

While all ātmas are thus circumstanced, there come forth, out of them, those whose unwisdom becomes dispersed by knowledge. Unwisdom or ignorance is in the shape of the endless mass of cumulated karma (deeds) persisting from beginningless time. Knowledge is the above-described ātma-related knowledge derived from the teachings,inculcated, regarding real ātma-nature; that which increases by virtue of daily culture; and that which is exceedingly pure.

For these, the innate extraordinary (or transcendental) consciousness or intelligence, (hitherto, cooped, cribbed and confined in the ātma by external obstructions) becomes all shining; i.e., like the Sun, it, limitless and expanded, illuminates (or reveals) all things in their exact nature.

In this verse, the terms ‘teshām‘ (for them) and ‘ātmanām’ (of many ātmas) occur. This declares most clearly the multeity (or plurality) of ātmas (souls), already enunciated in verse:—

(Natv-ev-āham etc.,) ‘Never at all was that I was not’ etc-(ii-12), and other contiguous (or contextural) passages.

It may not be contended that this plurality is attributable to upādhi1 (limiting conditions); for, no trace of upādhi2 (limitation) can exist in the case of those whose ignorance has become dispelled3.

The expression ‘their intelligence’ (teshām jñānam) is composed of two terms, of which the term ‘their’ (teshām), is in the genetive case, and is a pronominal adjective, qualifying the term ‘intelligence’ (jñānam) in another case. This shows that intelligence or consciousness is an attribute or quality possessed by a possessor. Possessers are ātmas, entities whose attribute, the possessed, is ‘intelligence’. Intelligence (or consciousness) has thus an attributive (dharma) existence only, [in relation to the substantial (dharmi) existence (ātma)]. The analogy of the Sun, employed in the verse, is an illustration to prove the relation between the cognizer and cognition (or knower and knowledge), such as the relation existing between the Sun —the source of light— and the light (emanating from him as a quality).

Hence it holds, that in the Samsāra4 (conditioned) state, intelligence is contracted (limited) by karma, and in the Moksha (emancipated) state, it is expanded (unlimitedly diffused)5.

>> Chapter 5 verse 17

archived in http://githa.koyil.org

pramEyam (goal) – http://koyil.org
pramANam (scriptures) – http://granthams.koyil.org
pramAthA (preceptors) – http://acharyas.koyil.org
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal – http://pillai.koyil.org

  1. From notes for verse 2.12: A brief explanation of these technical terms and of the nature of the controversies of the Indian philosophers is very necessary to enable the reader to intelligently follow Rāmānuja’s arguments:
    Upadhi is that which limits, binds, conditions, circumscribes, environs, veils, obscures, contracts, dulls, fetters, etc., or that which, in short, checks, bridles, restricts or obstructs freedom, and is that by which Unity is supposed to appear as Duality or Multiplicity.
    Aupādhika-bheda-vāda, is the argument of the Monistic (advaita) Philosophers asserting that all the duality (or plurality or diversity) manifested in the Universe is due to Upādhi or some inexplicable limiting condition. This argument belongs to the Schools of Yādava and Bhāskara. Read commentary to XIII-2.
    Rāmānuja may now be followed.
  2. From notes for verse 2.12: A brief explanation of these technical terms and of the nature of the controversies of the Indian philosophers is very necessary to enable the reader to intelligently follow Rāmānuja’s arguments:
    Upadhi is that which limits, binds, conditions, circumscribes, environs, veils, obscures, contracts, dulls, fetters, etc., or that which, in short, checks, bridles, restricts or obstructs freedom, and is that by which Unity is supposed to appear as Duality or Multiplicity.
    Aupādhika-bheda-vāda, is the argument of the Monistic (advaita) Philosophers asserting that all the duality (or plurality or diversity) manifested in the Universe is due to Upādhi or some inexplicable limiting condition. This argument belongs to the Schools of Yādava and Bhāskara. Read commentary to XIII-2.
    Rāmānuja may now be followed.
  3. The conclusion is that multiplicity of ātmas is not a temporary imposition due to Upādhi, but it is a truth which is established by the use of plural terms even to souls who have risen to the ultra-upādhic state or moksha.
  4. Lit: that which ‘runs or courses’; means the circuit or circle of wordly existence, mundane life, material existence, matter-tied or matter-consorting existence, conditioned secular career, or matter-soul existence, coursing through a transmigratory revolution of births and deaths alternating. In Indian terms, Purusha consorting with Prakriti (or spirit-matter combination).
  5. Consciousness becomes universal; as the Chh: Up: VII-26-2 says: ‘sarvam ha paśyaḥ paśyati’, and many another text. Read also, Bh: Gi: XIII-13, 14 and 15.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *