Beach 3: Focus on Three Qualities of God
Wave 4: The Absolute As It Is
Real, Consciousness, Infinite (satyam jnAnam anantam brahma) is the Upanishadic definition of the Transcendental Absolute. This definition is applicable irrespective of the religion on which we want to base the discussion. Such a definition is called 'Definition As Is'. The Sanskrit name for this is svarUpa-lakshaNa. In contrast there is the other type of definiton called taTastha-lakshaNa. The word 'taTa' means 'shore' or 'bank'. When someone wants you to show the location of a river which is somewhere nearby but not visible, very possibly you may show a tree that stands on the bank of the river and say that the river is just where the tree is. Instead of using this much of language the common man may just say: 'That is the river', pointing to the tree. Here the tree is only a pointer to the river. The river, in other words, is indicated by the tree on the bank or shore. So also, the faint few-days-old moon is indicated by pointing to the space between two branches of yonder tree. And it must be noted that the moon has nothing to do with the branches of the tree; yet the branches of the tree help us to precisely look in the direction of the distant moon. That is why this type of definition is called a 'Definition by Indication'. The technical Sanskrit name for this, namely, 'taTastha-lakshaNa' means exactly this. It means 'Definition' (of the river indicated by pointing the tree) 'located on (its) 'bank'. So also when we want to specify the Almighty who is the Transcendental Absolute brahman, since we cannot handle or delimit the concept by our senses we just 'indicate' it (or Him!) by saying He is the Father of the Universe.
Certainly this is a good pointer, since there can be no other than the absolute who can be the Father of the Universe. 'ahaM bIjaH pradaH pitA' says the Lord in the 14th chapter of the Gita, meaning, 'I am the Father who plants the seed'.
July 7, 99 ©Copyright V. Krishnamurthy Home Contents Next