On Vyasatirtha’s interpretations of tattvamasi—part I (w/lakshana on ‘tat’)

Before I begin this work,I offer my pra.naamas to that lion amongst scholars of Madhva Vedanta,Dr. BNK Sharma.

Points to be noted while arguing

* tattvamasi to be interpreted in line of a lak.sa.na(a secondary signification),which advaitins do too.

vyaasatiirtha‘s explanations based on lak.sa.na on the term tat are noted here.

(1) Identity based on association:(saahacaryaat taacchabdam…). It’s referred to by paata~njali,the author of the mahaabhaa.sya. The example “vasanta adhyayanam” under Pāṇini(iv.2.63) is cited where it is justified thus ”
sahacaryat tacchabdyam bhavisyati vasantasahacaritamadhyayanam vasanta iti|“.The close association between the jIva and brahman is justified by the “srutidvaa supar.naa sayujaa sakhaa…

(2) Identity based by virtue of basic relationship with another(tadaa”sritatvaat taditi vyapade”sa.h…)this too is accepted by paata~njali in his interpretation of paa.nini‘s sutra “samartha padavidhi.h…” . Such an identity in the form of
aa”srayaa”srayiibhava is implied in the passage from śruti “sarvaa.h prajaa.h sadaayatanaa.h satprati.s.thaa” in uddaalaka’s discourse.

(3) Language of identity being employed when one thing is the source of another.(tato jaatatvaat taditi vyapade…). An example given is “braahma.no’sya mukhamaasiit“(the Brahmin was His face) by which it was meant that the Brahmin was born from the face of the viraa.tapuru.sa. It is explained the the mahaabhaa.sya on the sutra “imya.na.h sa.mprasaara.nam” where sa.mprasaara.nam is explained in the mahaabhaa.sya as vowels resulting from a specific kind of vowel-gradation known as sa.mprasaara.nam….just as in ordinary parlance,a crow born of another crow or a hawk born of another hawk is spoken of by the same name(yathaa kaakaajjaata.h kaaka.h, “syenaajjaata.h “syena.h, eva.m sa.mprasaara.naajjaato var.na.h sa.mprasaara.na.h). Here,the statement “sanmuulaa.h sobhyemaa.h sarva.h prajaa.h” is used. In this sense,they might be spoken as Brahman(tat),born as they are,of Brahman.

(4) Identity by reason of dependence(tadasiinatvaat taditi vyapade”sa.h…) is an idiom in mimaa.msaka usage. An example is dhaanyamasi,dhinuhi devaan where rice is referred to as “dhaanyam“(grain) by lak.sa.na because it is produced from grains(dhaanyaadhiinotpattike ta.n.dule dhaanya”sabdaprayoha.h)  The dependence of jiiva on brahman is brought out int he chaandogya and other places “praa.nabandhana.m hi somya mana.h| yathaasmin aakaa”so “syeno…“,so the declaration is taken in the figurative sense of “tadadhiina.h tvamasi” through the same kinda of lak.sa”na as in “dhaanyamasi“. Such usages are frequently found in braahma.na and upani.sadic literature.

(5) Identity in virtue of resemblance:Used in paata~njali‘s interpretation of the sutra of paa.ninibahuga.navatu.dati sa.mkhyaa” where he notes the elision of a suffix like vat/vatup,etc. So,tattvamasi should be understood to mean “tadvattvamasi“(Thou art like it). Such usages also have precedence in the mimaa.msa suutra of jaimini (saarupyaat) and have been illustrated there.


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