Faith

Tat Tvam Asi explained

The Bhagavad Gita is held to be the essence of the Ultimate Truth which is the subject matter of the entire Vedas. In a discourse, Swamini Satyavratananda drew attention to the views of interpreters who have shown that the import of the Mahavakya ‘Tat Tvam Asi’ is made clear in a systematic way in this text. It is customary to view the 18 chapters of the Gita as three shadgams or sections of six chapters each. In each of these sections, three broad topics are dealt with. In the first set of six chapters, the three topics discussed are jiva vichara, the sadana of karma yoga to attain moksha, and the human effort, purusha prayatna, to gain self knowledge.

The second shadgam discusses Ishwara swaroopa, the sadana of upasana yoga or meditation on Saguna Brahman, and Ishwara Kripa. The focus in the third shadgam is on the oneness of Paramatma and jivatma, the sadana of jnana yoga through practices such as sravana, manana, nidhidyasa, etc., and the importance of character building by cultivating worthy qualities and virtues.

It is shown that the first topic in each of the three shadgams, namely jiva vichara, Ishwara vichara and Jiva-Brahma Aikya Jnana, respectively unfolds the explanation of the three terms Tvam, Tat and Asi in the Mahavakya. The ‘Tvam’ pada refers to the essential nature of the individual soul, the ‘Tat’ pada is about the nature of the Supreme Brahman and the ‘Asi’ pada affirms the oneness of Paramatma and the jivatma. The second and the third topics in each of three sections comprehensively deal with the yoga sadanas, karma, bhakti and jnana and of the importance of human effort, God’s grace and the cultivation of Daivi sampath or virtues.

The practical integration of the Gita teaching in one’s life along with faith in Ishwara Kripa is sure to lead one to the state of a jivanmukta.


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Printable version | Oct 29, 2021 3:45:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/tat-tvam-asi-explained/article36701998.ece

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