By Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad
The Gita is a imperative textual content in Hindu traditions, and commentaries on it show a variety of philosophical-theological positions. of the main major commentaries are via Sankara, the founding father of the Advaita or Non-Dualist method of Vedic idea and by way of Ramanuja, the founding father of the Visistadvaita or certified Non-Dualist approach. Their commentaries provide wealthy assets for the conceptualization and realizing of divine fact, the human self, being, the connection among God and human, and the ethical psychology of motion and devotion. This ebook methods their commentaries via a learn of the interplay among the summary atman (self) and the richer belief of the human individual. whereas heavily studying the Sanskrit commentaries, Ram-Prasad develops reconstructions of every philosophical-theological approach, drawing proper and illuminating comparisons with modern Christian theology and Western philosophy.
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Additional resources for Divine Self, Human Self: The Philosophy of Being in Two Gita Commentaries
That which is beyond (param), that is, the unsurpassed (niratiśaya) brahman. He then acknowledges that some split the phrase (padaṃ chindanti) as ‘anādi matparaṃ brahma’: brahman, which is without beginning (anādi) is ‘that which has me beyond it’ (matparam), that of which, I, Vāsudeva, am the ‘supreme power’ (parāśakti). Rāmānuja will later take precisely that reading, with significant theological consequences, for on that reading, beginingless brahman, whatever it is, is distinct from Kṛṣṇa and subject to him, having him beyond it.
Let us, then, look more carefully at what Śaṅkara says about Kṛṣṇa and being, via self. For Śaṅkara, the key to the understanding of Kṛṣṇa’s declaration of being the all (with nothing left over, so to speak) is the recognition of Kṛṣṇa as being self. 122). The identity of God and self has implications for the Advaita metaphysics that Śaṅkara reads into the Gītā, as the ‘all’ is made clearer in two verses in chapter 10. 32, he says, ‘Of created things (sargānāṃ), I am the beginning, middle and end’.
139–40) this supervisory power only as the self ’s intrinsic form (of self) as pure witness (dṛśimātrasvarūpa), which is unchangeable (avikriya). But there are no other conscious beings (anyasya cetanā), no other experiences (anyasya bhokturabhāvāt); there is only one deity (eka deva), which is the absolute consciousness (paramārtha caitanya). Here, Kṛṣṇa – as the one deity – is explicitly read as the consciousness in and of all beings, the consciousness that is in itself all. We must not, of course, over-stress the parallel with Eckhart, for it may be the case that Eckhart’s concept of unity, as oneness of God and self, could lend itself just as much to a theology of union compatible with Rāmānuja’s account of the being-together of God and beings (although I am not sufficiently persuaded of that possibility to advocate that myself).