Author Topic: Tat Tvam Asi - 2  (Read 1449 times)


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Tat Tvam Asi - 2
« on: May 08, 2009, 05:36:52 PM »
The abridged excerpt continues....

This leaves with the third and final possible answer to the question.
The Self knows itself.  This answer is based on he assumption that
the Self is both knower and the known, at the same time.  This
is again untenable.  Because, here there is an assumption, that
the Self like a material object is made up of parts.  The Self is not
made up of parts.

Any object that is made up of parts is divisible.  Therefore, it is
at least conceivable for an object, which is material, that one
part may be the cognizer and another part, the cognized.  However,
according to Advaita, the Self or Pure Consciousness is non dual,
homogenous, and indivisible.  Scriptural justification aside, it is
a common logic, that one and the same entity cannot be both the subject and the object.  To use some examples, the finger can
touch something else but not itself.  The eye can see something
else but cannot see itself.

It is therefore clear from the above discussions that all the three
alternatives are untenable.  The question, however, remains as to
how is the Self known?

In the light of Advaita, such a question is really a contradiction
in terms because one only speaks of knowing something, when
the thing is unknown.  The Self, unlike any object, is never completely unknown.  Indeed, to everyone the Self is known.  The real issue at
hand is therefore to what degree is the Self known.  Everyone knows
that there is a spiritual principle in him, which is different from the body, the senses and the mind.  In his commentary on Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Sankara points out that the Self is not something
unknown to everybody.  It is only not fully known.  For most of us,
only the general aspect [samanya amsa] of the Self is known.  We know that the Self exists.  And we make this claim on the ground
that in the absence of the Self, the mind, the senses and the body will not function.

(Source: As indicated in Part 1)

Arunachala Siva.