Advaita Philosophy, Yoga Philosophy

Realistic vs. Idealistic Metaphysics – pg 2

P.J.Mazumdar


Brihadaranyaka Upanishad:

2.3.1:

Brahman has but two forms – gross and subtle, mortal and immortal, limited and unlimited, defined and undefined.

2.3.2:

The gross form is that which is other than air and ether. It is mortal, it is limited, it is defined. The essence of that which is gross, mortal, limited and defined, is the sun that shines, for it is the essence of the defined.

2.3.3:

Now the subtle – it is air and ether. It is immortal, it is unlimited and it is undefined. The essence of that which is subtle, immortal, unlimited and undefined is the being that is in the sun, for that is the essence of the undefined. This is with reference to the gods.

2.3.4:

Now, with reference to the body: the gross form is this – which is other than the corporeal air and the ether that is in the body. It is mortal, it is limited and defined. The essence of that which is gross, mortal, limited and defined is the eye, for it is the essence of the defined.

2.3.5:

Now the subtle – it is the corporeal air and ether that is in the body. It is immortal, ir is unlimited and it is undefined. The essence of that which is subtle, immortal, unlimited and undefined is this being that is in the right eye, for this is the essence of the undefined.

These five sutras are very important in the Upanishads. Here we see the whole of the philosophy of the Upanishads defined.

Without going into other aspects, we see that as far as metaphysics is concerned, the two forms of existence, the subject and the object, is very clearly defined. The gross form of Brahman is first taken up in the context of objects, of which the sun is taken as the essence. It is then taken up in the context of the subject, of which the eye is taken as the essence.

So here we see that Brahman is considered to form independently both the objects, the sun, and the subject, the ‘I’. one is not dependent on the other. Brhaman here supports both the sun and the eye, the object and the subject. Both exist independently of the other. The same Brahman supports both the object and the subject and both have an equal existence. So there is no question of analyzing one as dependent on the other, they are both dependent on Brahman but not on each other and both have equal and independent status.

This is as clear a statement of realistic metaphysics as is possible.

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