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ual soul (= tvam, meaning you) and the brahman (= tat, meaning that Absolute) we cannot have either of these two kinds of definitions; because, the discarding technique of the definition will discard the 'spiritual essence' present in both and the 'non-discarding' definition will take the ignorance of the soul, which is not in brahman and will also take the creative 'mAyA' aspect of brahman, which is not in the individual soul. So we have to go to the third kind of lakshaNa, called jahad-ajahal-lakshaNa -- meaning the definition which discards and also not discards! This means we discard the facets which are not in both and do not discard the factors which are present in both. This is what we do whenever we say 'That person is the same as the one I saw a few years ago in the mental hospital'. We identify the commonalities of the 'two' persons we are talking about and we also discard the obvious incongruences in the two cases we are talking about.  So also when we say that 'Thou art That' we discard the Ignorance aspect of 'thou' and the 'creative' aspect of 'That', but we take into consideration the spiritual content of both and assert that the spiritual content is the same. But even this definition does not describe who 'That' or 'Thou' is. The definition helps only so far as the discarding and non-discarding aspect goes and only in identifying 'Thou' with 'That'. Thus none of  the three kinds of definitions  'define' what the Absolute Truth is. Therefore She is unobtainable by definitions!

hrImkAra-lakshaNA: The One which has hrIm as its (indicative, tatastha-) lakshaNa. There are four letters in the one syllable hrIm. The 'ha' stands for Siva as well as Space. Just as Space is uncontaminated or untouched by anything that happens 'in' space, because of its subtlety, cf. bhagavad-gItA 13-32:

yathA sarvgatam saukshmyAd-AkASam nopalipyate /
sarvatrA-vasthito dehe tathAtmA  nopalipyate //

so also the Absolute which is embedded everywhere in the body  is not touched by anything that happens to the body. So the 'ha' stands for the Absolute. The next letter is 'ra'. This by fiat of Sanskrit grammar always indicates the fiery aspect of the divine which causes an effect, that which creates. So the ha and ra together signify the causatively predicated Consciousness Absolute. The 'I' stands for the 'sustenance' aspect of VishNu. The anusvara  - 'm' - indicates the merging. Thus hrIm stands for the creative, sustaining and dissolving aspects for all of which together the source is the Transcendental Absolute Consciousness. The three aspects however singly or together do not define the Absolute; but they indicate, point the direction to, the Absolute. Such a defining characteristic is called 'taTastha-lakshaNa'. meaning, a 'tentative definition' or 'just an indicative definition'. It is not the final ever-valid definition.  Thus the hrIm syllable is the taTastha-lakshaNa  for the Absolute.

hrIm-garbhA: The syllable hrIm stands for the three Divine Forms constituting the Trinity: brahmA, vishNu and Siva. These are the three first saguNa (with attributes, as opposed to nirguNa, attributeless) expressions of the Absolute. The respective Energies are known as vAmA, jyeshThA and

© Copyright V. Krishnamurthy  Sep.6, '99.        Home  Contents NEXT