Institute of Philosophy
of the Russian Academy of Sciences




  Julia Predtechenskaya. Definition of Brahman in the Upanishads: Apophatic and Cataphatic approaches (in the commentary of Shankara to the Taittiriya Upanishada)
Home Page » » History of Philosophy Yearbook » History of Philosophy Yearbook’2009 » Julia Predtechenskaya. Definition of Brahman in the Upanishads: Apophatic and Cataphatic approaches (in the commentary of Shankara to the Taittiriya Upanishada)

Julia Predtechenskaya. Definition of Brahman in the Upanishads: Apophatic and Cataphatic approaches (in the commentary of Shankara to the Taittiriya Upanishada)

The author analyses the nature of ananda (bliss) as an attribute of Brahman, and through it, the status of the cataphatic definitions of the Absolute in the Upanishads, as well as in the commentaries of Shankara and his disciple Sureshvara to the Taittiriya upanishada. She shows that Shankara uses the cataphatic definitions of Brahman in an apophatic manner. These cataphatic definitions of Brahman are regarded by Shankara as corresponding to the lower empirical level of Reality, and meant for ignorant people to indicate them the possibility of «reaching» the Absolute. For him, they are nothing but instruments of the apophatic approach to Reality as they imply the negation of their own content.

 

Keywords: Sac-cid-ananda, sat, cit, ananda, apophatic, affirmative (cataphatic), the Absolute, Brahman, Atman, Upanishads.