One more thing ! ......

The story of a Jar

Having talked about Dasamanyaya , and the story of Devadatta , we are tempted to bring yet another common topic which is part of many discussions in Vedanta. That is the story of a “Jar” ,

The making and the breaking of a pot as well as the pot as it is and even the mud contituting the pot form the narrative in vedanta !!

Jar or ghata or kunda is very common in the colloquial usage and one would easily recall a Kabir's Doha about the same. In some of the colloquial usages, a very firm declaration is stated as being as clear as the breaking of a pot

In fact in the ultimate declaration of a death , the breakage of a ghata/earthen “Pot” is used symbolically as a custom !.

That the Jar is part of the Vedantic dialog comes out from the fact that Sankara directly refers to a Jar or “Pot”( Ghata ) in many of his elucidations.

This says ‘ just as the perceiver of the “Ghata” (“Pot” ) is different from the “Ghata”(“Pot”) itself and can never be the “Ghata”(“Pot”) , so too the one ( self) who sees the body is different from the body it self !!.

This is pretty neat way of telling that the one inside us (self) who is making us see and making us touch has to be some body above the physical organs which enable us to see touch smell and taste !!

So the self is a much superior entity which has the powers over the body with ability to stop the inhalation of the vital air , even if it is to a limited extent. This comes out clearly in the illustration used by Sankara !

Yet another example of Jar is the space within a jar !!

This is used to explain concept of Brahman being present all over

"Just as same all pervading space is inside a Jar and ousde the Jar ,similarly the all pervading Brahman exists in all beings and things " ( Ashtavakra Gita Chapter 1-20)

While one used it to explain Brahma another used it to explain Atma

The Jar contains a space within itself . When the Jar is destroyed the space in the Jar does not get destroyed, it simply and instantaneously merges into the open space !.

In the analogy of space and Jars. Self is like the space and the Jivas are like space in the jars . Just as space is enclosed in a Jar, so is the Self manifested as Jivas

Similarly on the death of a Jiva , the self manifested in the Jiva or of the Jiva merges into the universal Self.

The Spaces in Jars may differ in form, function and name, but still there's no difference in space. Likewise though the Jivas may differ in form, function and name, still there's no difference in the Self.

Just as the space in the jar is neither the transformation nor a modification nor a part of the space, the Jiva too is neither the transformation nor a modification nor a part of the Self.

Making of the “Pot” itself is another story used as effectively.

“Pot” is seen as an example of cause and effect.

Pot is there because there is some body who knew what is Pot, how to make the pot and had the will to make the Pot. That some body may be called an Agent. This Agent is treated as an undeniable truth !! For all effects there is an Agent !

So if there is a seed that becomes a plant , there is an (unseen) Agent who knew and had the will to make it happen. That (unseen) power is the Brahman. In fact the issue of “Pot” has been used to postulate an Agent, an unseen unknown power which is the Supreme being or God in our ancient Philosophy of Nyaya !

There is yet another usage of “Pot”.

You see a “Pot” . Then when you do not see a “Pot” ,you can postulate that there is no Pot. Because you are aware what is a “Pot”!!

So to be able to say there is “no Pot”- you have to have the knowledge of a “Pot” to start with !! . For if you have no knowledge of “Pot” you cannot have knowledge of “No Pot” also . So to declare firmly that there is “no Pot”, you must be first able to assert that there is a “Pot” or be able to say what is a recognizable “Pot" .

Extending this logic further into philosophical domain..

To assert that there is “No God” you must first be able to assert what is that “God”If you cannot define that “God” you cannot say that there is “No God”. (*)

You cannot have negation of some thing which you have not defined in the first place.!

Think about it !!

Om tat Sat

(*) this is not a example from any of the established lines of arguments regardig God- but is very similar to the objection raised and proofs used in the vedic polemics about number of basic substances which are treated as Seven( in Tarka Sangraha)