By Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad

The Gita is a primary textual content in Hindu traditions, and commentaries on it show a variety of philosophical-theological positions. of the main major commentaries are by way of Sankara, the founding father of the Advaita or Non-Dualist approach of Vedic inspiration and by means of Ramanuja, the founding father of the Visistadvaita or certified Non-Dualist process. Their commentaries supply 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 booklet ways their commentaries via a learn of the interplay among the summary atman (self) and the richer belief of the human individual. whereas heavily examining the Sanskrit commentaries, Ram-Prasad develops reconstructions of every philosophical-theological method, drawing suitable and illuminating comparisons with modern Christian theology and Western philosophy.

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The crucial interpretive move is to read the first half as ‘anādimatparaṃ brahma’: ‘the brahman beyond is without beginning’. The line would then read, ‘the brahman beyond is that which is without beginning; it is said neither that it is nor that it is not’.  197) to say, anādimat is one without beginning; and who is that one? 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).

198). Here we go back to the start of our study of Śaṅkara: the critical aspect of approaching brahman – what structures the entire inquiry – is that brahman is not being as such, and therefore is not available through a (howsoever demanding) phenomenological focus by consciousness on its own being. Of course, consciousness – the presencing self that is ātman – can indeed realize its non-difference from brahman only through rigorous Śaṅkara on brahman and Kṛṣṇa 25 inquiry; but in the intellectual process of characterising the subject of our inquiring cognition (jñeya) through our reading of sacred text, what we have to realize is that brahman is not being as such, even at its purest or in its supremacy.

5. ‘How, again, does he say, “This is my self ”? ’19 First-personal usage by Kṛṣṇa is a necessary locution to advert to self; this is not a license for us to persist in our mistaken identification of the psychophysical apparatus with self. Kṛṣṇa appears, because of the grammar of teaching, to preserve the individuatedness that limits self-talk to each locus of awareness in our worldliness; but the consciousness in Kṛṣṇa is ever-free of mistaken individuatedness. Once we understand this, we are able to take in his teaching, which is that Kṛṣṇa’s self is our self.

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