Re: authorial reluctance (Martin)
Aug 20, 1996 11:51 AM
by Kim Poulsen
> It seems funny to me that you're refering to the one Upanishad
>I've got on my book shelf. (although this Upanishad is considered the most
>important one in the Muktikopanishad - so, your reference may not be
>incidental). I've got a translation by the advaita ashrama that runs like
A twist of fate perhaps, I have the exact same edition :-)
>'All Jivas are, by their very nature, illumined from the very beginning
>and they are ever immutable in their nature. He who, having known this,
>rests without (sees the needlessness of) seeking further knowledge,
>is alone capable of realising the Highest Truth.'
>This may be an akward translation of Gaudapada's karika, I've no idea
>(I know a little bit of Sanskrit but it would take me ages to translate
It takes me a very long time too, but here follows the transliteration
of line 1:
AdibuddhaH prak.Rityaiva sarve dharmAH sunishchitAH |
"Adibuddha is the enforcers/will aspect of the Law (also doctrine) of
the whole physical plane".
A theosophist will immediately think that this must be the universal
physical plane and Shankara adds - ...AdibuddhAH prak.Rityai svabhAvata
eva yatha nityaprakAshasvarUpaH savitaivaM nityabodhasvarUpA....
prak.Rityai svabhAvata - 7th universal principle - svabhavat, also 7th
plane as opposed the other prakriti - of the solar system (the 2 prakritis
of the Bhagavad Gita)
nityaprakAshasvarUpaH - their own eternal form of light
savitaivam nityabodhasvarUpa - their own eternal sun-like form of bodha
I am working on a translation of this (much larger piece) and will
correlate with certain mahatma letters which treats of these principles.
But anyone can check my translations in the dictionary
>Shankara's commentary (English translation) contains a reference to
> 'eternal light' which might be a translation of svabhavat(?)
Rather nityaprakAsha, but you are on the track. I normally find
interesting passages in translations and only then use the text. Svabhavat
will generally be found as self-existence, own-being, luminous existence or
>In the next karika there's an annotation by swami nikhilananda that:
>Also, this type of monism (at least as it is presented by this swami)
>neglects the fact that we *learn through experience*. It's not enough to
>down and think that one is enlightened already.
>What do you think?
Since the swami has translated a discussion on the highest dhyani-chohans
into statements on the human ego, I not even paid a moments attention to
his comments. But you're quite right, the process of understanding - path
of enlightenment - or workings of buddhi in manas - is certainly a process.
In fact mistranslations is also the cause of this passive philosophy. The
proper translation of the 3 ancient paths of the B.G is
a) Sa.nkhya, literally numerology - esoteric study, indian kabbalah as Alan
might put it. Their (the esoteric students) real philosophy is hinted at by
Vyasa, they start with an immutable principle, etc. The commonly known
sutras are only semi-esoteric and are not worth much.
b) service, improvement of personal karma - insufficient for liberation
c) Yoga - whose goal is samadhi, literally union "with the logos" as Subba
Row puts it.
To travel on more than one path, would just as today be possible, if not
necessary. So being merely a theosophist or Advaita Vedantin has never
constituted a path. Even a swami will have to exercise one of these to move
anywhere in the right direction.
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