WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF''TAT TVAM ASI''?IS IT THE DESCRIPTION OF KUTASTHA BRAHMA
DEFINITION OF ''TAT TVAM ASI'';-
1-The Sanskrit word tattva, which means the truth or principle of something, is regarded as made up of tad (that) and tvam (you) and, thus, has a direct relation to the "TATTVAMASI '' Mahavakya.
2-Everything in this universe has a tattva (principle) of its own. That is the general meaning, just as electricity is the principle that works a bulb. But, in a meta(higher, beyond)-language like Sanskrit, where words and meanings are logically built on roots, we necessarily have to look in the direction of the Absolute.
3-According to Vedanta, the Absolute tattva of everything is Brahman. Thus, Brahman is everything or all this is verily Brahman. If this understanding is related to the Mahavakya. "PRAJNANAM BRAHMAN ", then that Consciousness (that shines forth in me and you and in all that shine after) becomes Brahman and this takes us directly to "TATTVAMASI ''("that thou art").
4-Thus, tattva has a great meaning suggestive of that by which the identity of the whole world with the one eternal Brahman is expressed as you yourself or I myself. That is the whole of Vedanta is effectively impregnated (To fill throughout )in just one very simple Sanskrit word.. Every time we utter the word tattva, which appears in many Indian languages ; we are unconsciously or subconsciously reinforcing a great Mahavakya.
5-In this way Tat Tvam Asi (Sanskrit: तत् त्वम् असि or तत्त्वमसि, "Thou art that," "That thou art," or "You are that") — is one of theMahavakya (Grand Pronouncements).It originally occurs in the Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7, in the dialogue between Uddalaka and his son Svetaketu; it appears at the end of a section, and is repeated at the end of the subsequent sections as a refrain.
6-The meaning of this saying is that the Self - in its original, pure, primordial state - is wholly or partially identifiable or identical with the Ultimate Reality that is the ground and origin of all phenomena. The knowledge that this is so characterises the experience of liberation or salvation that accompanies the Unio Mystica(mystical union).
7-'Thou art That' is the meaning carried out by this declaration of the Sruti. It has got a superficial verbal meaning and an essential indicative meaning .The
individual and the cosmic, Avidya and Maya, Jiva and Isvara, Atman and Brahman are the aspects which correspond themselves to the meaning of the terms 'Tat' and 'Tvam', 'That' and 'Thou'.
8-The mighty Iswara, who is the indweller in the cosmic Body is also the indweller in every Jiva. Every Jiva individually is the body of Isvara, just as the Cosmos as a whole is.
9-The 'Tat' of the statement refers to Iswara who resides in the Cosmic Body and the 'Tvam' refers to the same Iswara who indwells the Jiva and has got the Jiva as the body. All the bodies, the Cosmic and the individual, are held in adjectival relationship (aprthak-siddhi) in the one Isvara. Tat Tvam Asi declares that oneness of Isvara.
DEFINITION OF ''TAT TVAM ASI''ACCORDING TO MAJOR VEDANTIC SCHOOLS;-
Major Vedantic schools offer different interpretations of the phrase Tat (That) Tvam (You jiva) Asi (Are):-
Absolute equality of 'tat', the Ultimate Reality, Brahman, and 'tvam', the individual self, jiva.
Oneness in "essence" between 'tat' and individual self; but 'tat' is the whole and self is a part.
Identity of individual self as a part of the whole which is 'tat', Brahman.
Equal non-difference and difference between the individual self as a part of the whole which is 'tat'.
A- “Sa atmaa-tat tvam asi” in Sanskrit is actually “Sa atma-atat tvam asi” or “Atman, thou art not that”.
B-Acintya Bheda Abheda - inconceivable oneness and difference between individual self as a part of the whole which is 'tat'.
ACCORDING TO ADI SHANKARA(The Advaita School) ;-
1-The Advaita school of Shankara assigns a fundamental importance to this Mahavakya and three others of the same kind from three other Upanishads. This is actually a statement meted out by Sage Āruni to Shvetaketu, his son. It says literally 'That thou art'. In other words that Brahman which is the common Reality behind everything in the cosmos is the same as the essential Divinity, namely the Atman, within you.
2-It is this identity which is the grand finale(impressive ending )of Upanishadic teaching, according to Advaita. The realisation of this arises only by an intuitive experience and is totally different from any objective experience. It cannot be inferred from some other bit of knowledge. To comprehend the meaning an analysis of the three words in the pronouncement is needed.
WHO IS THIS "THOU' ?-
1-'Thou' stands for the inherent substratum(foundation) in each one of us without which our very existence is out of question. Certainly it is not the body, mind, the senses, or anything that we call ours. It is the innermost Self, stripped of all egoic tendencies. It is Atman.
2-The entity indicated by the word 'That' according to the notation used in the Vedas, is Brahman, the transcendent Reality which is beyond everything that is finite, everything that is conceived or thought about. You cannot give a full analogy to it and that is why the Vedas say words cannot describe it. It cannot even be imagined because when there is nothing else other than Brahman it has to be beyond space and time.
3-We can imagine space without earth,water, fire and air. But it is next to impossible to imagine something outside space. Space is the most subtle of the five elemental fundamentals. As we proceed from the grossest to the subtle, that is, from earth to water, to fire, to air, and to space the negation of each grosser matter is possible to be imagined within the framework of the more subtle one.
4-But once we reach the fifth one, namely space or Akasha, the negation of that and the conception of something beyond, where even the space is merged into something more subtle, is not for the finite mind. The Vedas therefore declare the existence of this entity and call it 'sat' (existence), also known as Brahman.
WHAT IS THAT & THIS ?
1-The Atman or the innermost core of our self seems to have an individuality of its own. So, in saying that it is the same as the unqualified Brahman in the Infinite Cosmos, we seem to be identifying two things: one that is unlimited and unconditioned, and one that is limited and conditioned.
2-Whenever someone says, for instance, that the person B whom you are meeting just now is the same as the person A whom you saw twenty years ago at such and such a place, what is actually meant is not the identity of the dresses of the two personalities of A and B, nor of the features (those of B may be totally different from A), but of the essential person behind the names.
3-So whenever such an identity is talked about we have to throw away certain aspects which are temporarily distinctive or indicative in both and cling on only to those essentials without which they are not what they are. B and A may have distinct professions, may have different names, may have different attitudes towards you or towards a certain issue, or may have an additional identity, exemplified by, say, having different passports — but still they are the same, is what is being asserted by the statement 'B is the same as A'.
4-Brahman minus its Maya and Atman minus its avidya
are identical.In the same way, when Brahman and Atman are identified by this Mahavakya, we have to discard those inessential qualities that are only indicative and therefore extraneous(irrelevant) and to explore what commonality or essentialness there is in them that is being identified.
5- Brahman is the Cause of this Universe. But this is a predication of Brahman and so is extraneous (not belonging proper )to the identity we are talking about. The Self or the Atman, appears to be limited by an individuality which keeps it under the spell of ignorance; this is extraneous to the essentiality of the Atman. So what is being identified is Brahman, minus its feature of being the Cause of this Universe and Atman minus its limitations of ignorance-cum-delusion.
6-That these two are the same is the content of the statement 'Tat tvam asi'. The cosmic Maya is what makes Brahman the cause of this Universe. The individual avidya (ignorance) is what makes the Atman circumscribed and delimited/ bound,. So the Mahavakya, says that Brahman minus its Maya and Atman minus its avidya are identical(exactly alike).
IS IT ..THE DESCRIPTION OF KUTASTHA BRAHMAMN ?-
1-In the Vedic sentence, That art Thou or Thou art That, the direct significance of the word That is Maya plus the Brahman reflected therein, plus the pure Brahman, the substratum of Maya. The direct significance of the word Thou is Avidya plus the Self reflected therein plus Kutastha, the substratum of Avidya. The connotation or the real indicative meaning of the word That is pure Brahman. The connotation or the real indicative meaning of the word Thou is the Kutastha.
2-The inconsistent attributes of Maya and Avidya have to be eliminated and the Kutastha whose nature is Existence, Knowledge and Bliss has to be identified with the pure Brahman whose nature is also Existence, Knowledge and Bliss. He who realises the identity through direct intuitive perception attains Moksha. He is a Jivanmukta. This is the emphatic unanimous voice of the Upanishads.
3-Avidya and the Chaitanya that is at its back (Adhisthana Chaitanya, i.e., Kutastha), the individual subtle body that is the product of Apanchikrita Bhutas or non-quintuplicated subtle elements and the reflected intelligence therein (Chidabhasa) and the Dharmas of Chidabhasa, viz., little Knowledge, little Power, Kartrutva and Bhoktrutva constitute the Svarupa of Jiva. Tat is one Pada. Tvam is another Pada. Asi is the third Pada. The Asi Pada denotes the identity of Jiva and the Brahman.
4-The literal meaning of Tvam Pada is Jiva. The indicative meaning 'Lakshyartha' of Tvam Pada is Kutastha Brahman. Maya and its Adhishthana Chaitanya, i.e., Pure Brahman, the sum total of all subtle bodies, the product of the non-quintuplicated subtle elements, and the Isvara reflected in it and the Dharma of Isvara, viz., Omniscience, Omnipotence constitute the Svarupa of Isvara.
5-The literal meaning of Tat Pada is Isvara. The indicative meaning of Tat Pada is pure Brahman. The Svarupa of Asi Pada is the understanding that Kutastha is Brahman and the Brahman is Kutastha. He who has the Karana Upadhi is Isvara. He who has the Karya Upadhi is Jiva.
HOW TO REALIZE KUTASTHA BRAHMAMN?-
1-Just as the ether is the same although pot-ether and house-ether are different on account of the Upadhis, pot and house; just as the light is the same although the wick burns in different vessels viz., an earthen vessel and a glass vessel.
2-just as a Raja and a shepherd are the same as both belong to the species man, although one has an army, the other a herd of sheep.
3- just as the water of the Ganga in a brass vessel and the water of the Ganga in a pot are the same, although the vehicles are different.
4- just as ocean and a drop of water of the ocean are the same from the view point of water, although the vehicles are different.
5- just as one man who is called a son with reference to his father and who is called a grandson with reference to his grandfather, is the same person, although the Upadhis of father and grandfather are different.
6- so also the pure consciousness is the same in both Isvara and Jiva, is identical with Brahman when the illusory Upadhi and Dharmas are eliminated.
7--Therefore you must make a firm resolve I am Brahman, Brahman I am and must realise this by constant and intense meditation. by this all miseries will terminate, and we can obtain Supreme Bliss and Liberation from the round of births and deaths.
8-The best medicine or tonic for any complaint, physical or mental, is constant thinking: 'I am the soul, the Atman which is independent of the body and the mind, which is Anamaya, diseaseless.' We should repeat this formula mentally several times daily & Meditate on the meaning.