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Mahavakyas of the Upanishads (pt 2)

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Sankara says that Brahman is unknowable and we can't perceive any of his qualities. The rope-snake metaphor is often used by Hindus to discuss the difference between perception and reality.


7. Tat Twam Asi

a. Key thought: Identity of self with Cosmic self, atman is Brahman

b. Key theological development: Best summary of Vedantic insight

8. Mirror Stained by Dust

a. Key thought: Ignorance keeps us from seeing the true nature of the self

b. Key theological development: Various margas or paths will “clean” mirror

9. The Transmission

a. Key thought: Cosmical homology between self and Brahman

b. Key theological development: Brahmin caste solidifies role in moksa

10. The Inner Controller

a. Key thought: Antaryamin is Brahman in the atman

b. Key theological development: divine presence affirmed as essence of self

11. Nirguna/Saguna

a. Key thought: Paradox between god with and without qualities

b. Key theological development: Two levels of Brahman widely accepted in Hindu philosophy

12. Two Birds

a. Key thought: Binding effect of karma

b. Key theological development: Doctrine of karma / doctrine of two levels of Brahman

13. Sat Cit Ananda

a. Key thought: Three indicators in Description of Brahman

b. Key theological development: The closest the Upanishads comes to defining Brahman

VI. Key Metaphors in Hindu Thought

A. Rope-Snake - perceptual vs. objective reality

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