Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Bhartrhari's Sabda-brahman and inner word

De Smet has a one page outline of Bhartrhari's Sadbadvaita, which I found fascinating. And then he ends with this even more rewarding remark:
N.B. Fascinating parallels could be made between this doctrine and the rich and varied conceptions of the internal word among Christians, especially St Augustine and the medieval Schoolmen. (Guidelines 226)
De Smet never ceases to amaze me: he knew about Augustine's doctrine of the inner word, and surely Thomas' reworking of it. But this is the first mention I have come across in the De Smet corpus.
It [the Sabda-brahman] is not to be attained through a special experience of the mystical order beyond all empirical phenomena (as the Sabda-brahman of Mandana Misra) but as the internal Word at the point of consciousness wherefrom all empirical knowledge radiates. This is why this is a philosophy for the man-in-the-world.
The Sabda-brahman is the ontological-linguistic Fullness wherefrom emanate in reciprocal harmony (a) the consciousnesses, (b) the objects with their visible or invisible potencies, (c) the Vedic word which relates these two realms. It is the Spiritual Energy (cit-sakti) of the universe.

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