Question 1 on The Supreme Entity – Dhaivatam - ThathvamkimEkam dhaivatam lokE?
Meaning : Who is the greatest Lord in the world? Who is the One (Supreme) Deity? Shastrathule(loke) yethu oppu uyarvatra Dhaivam ? Note that Loke here refers to Shastram.
Question is about: Thatvam.
Reason on why this questions was raised:
We can see many deity’s(hari, haran, hiranyagarban) been worshipped and hence this question. There is confusion on the thatvam too. So this question is asked to make that clear.
Having known that the various means lead to an ultimate goal, Yudhishtira proceeded to inquire about the ultimate goal at first. Since the philosophies and scriptures have projected and preached about the ultimate goal in two forms namely ‘The Supreme Entity’ and ‘The Ultimate Destination’, he inquired about the ‘Supreme Entity’ at first.
Yudhishtira asked ‘Which is the Supreme Godhead shown by the scriptures? and who is the one whom we should attain?”. The words “Which” (kim) and “in the scriptures” (lOkE) are to be read along with every question that Yudhishtira has asked. Similarly, the phrase “the loftiest in your opinion” (bhavataH paramO mataH) should also be applied to all the six questions that he has asked, according to the ‘simha-avalokana nyaaya’ (just as a lion looks back at the way it has treaded after walking a certain distance). The ‘vibhakti’s in each of the questions need to be modified as required while applying these aforesaid phrases in all the questions. The word ‘lOka’ has an origin as: ‘lOkyatE anEna’ (through which everything is seen), which indicates that the word ‘lOka’ in this context doesn’t refer to the world as it normally does, but refers to the ancient scriptures such as Vedas, Smrithis, and other shastras using which we see the Supreme Reality.
The word ‘Ekam’ refers to the main entity that has no equivalent or superior power to it. This is in concord with the phrases “the Supreme One who is also the biggest effulgence”, “of that One who is the chief of the world”, et al (used in slokas in reply to these questions). This doesn’t stop at the nature alone (the word ‘Ekam’ doesn’t refer to the nature of being Supreme alone), but also represents the numeral ‘one’ as it normally does. The next word ‘daivatam’ – due to its connotation and the use of singular form of the word – does not eliminate its representation of the Supreme Godhead as well as singularity. No Godhead exists, which has no nature of its own or which is multiple in number (in other words, all Godhead entities are indeed one in number, and have their own nature). Thus, even though it is known that the Godhead being referred to is singular, the usage of ‘Ekam’ is made specifically, for which no other meaning can be deduced. So in this context, the word ‘Ekam’ holds a special meaning, which represents ‘the Supreme One’, and not just the numeral one.
The word ‘daivatam’ refers to the connotation of the Supreme Mastery of all worlds, as also the representation of extraordinary qualities. Yudhishitra meant to ask “which is the Supreme of such Godheads professed by the scriptures in your opinion?” The reason being: even some of the learned scholars, who know about the Supreme Entity from the various scriptures, have their own doubts regarding the natural superiority of that entity due to the various ill-effects on it driven by illusion, limitation, transformation, et al, and also due to the differentiation seen among the divine trinity – Hari, Hara and Hiranyagarbha (Brahma) – due to various common and special causes. So, in order to get these doubts clarified by Bhishma, Yudhishtira asked unto him: “Which is that Supreme Godhead, which is professed by the scriptures, in your opinion?”
Question 2 on The Ultimate Destination as the Goal- parAyaNam - Upeyamkim vaapyEkam parAyaNam?
Meaning : Who is the one refuge of all? What is the highest goal of life? Yethu oppu uyarvatrathana siranthathana ayanam(purushartham - adaiyathagunthathu). Purushanale arpithal/prathithal /venduthal athuve purushartham.
Question is about: upEya (goal). Upeyam(goal), purushartham yethu. Para(best) ayana (purushartham, peru).
Reason on why this questions was raised:
Purushan Moksham vendinal then moksham purushartham, aishvawryathai vendinal then aishwaryam purushartham, kaivalyam vendinal then kaivalyam purushartham. People are confused on what is the end goal - Aishwaryam, Kaivalyam, bhagavad /Brahma anubhavam (Moksham). Also in the bhagavad anubham i.e moksham there are many types like Samidhyam, prapatti, aiykiyam, salokyam, samyapatti etc. For some if we get released from this worls it is moksham, for someone agyanam tholainthale moksham, for someone reaching there(vaikuntam) is moksham, avanoda gunangalin chayai padinthal moksham, avanoda gunangal yellame yen kitta vanthal moksham. So many types of moksham are explained in the Veda’s. So yudhistra is asking this question on what is the ultimate goal.
A similar confusion about the salvation (Moksha) can be found in the phala-shastras, the scriptures that detail about the ultimate goal. Many people are of the opinion that the destruction of the identity of self along with ignorance is itself called as
salvation, while many others opine that the voidance of some special characteristics of the soul itself is moksham. While some more propound that attaining the status and powers of the Supreme Brahman itself is salvation, some others declare that attaining of the qualities of Bhagavan is salvation. Some also opine that attaining the abode of the Supreme Self and residing in his shelter is moksham. Many others think that attaining the eight qualities such as the Supreme Bliss and the like is moksham, whereas some others think that performing eternal service of all kinds to the Supreme Brahman itself is moksham. With so many people professing so many meanings for ‘salvation’, Yudhishtira – with a mind to know the truth – posed his second question unto Bhishma thus: “Which is the only ultimate goal?” (in other words, “what is moksham?”)
Further to this, he has asked for two things – ‘daivatam’ and ‘parayanam’ (Supreme Entity and Ultimate Goal). In order to know if the two are totally different from each other or refer to the same entity in different states, there is the usage of two conjunctions ‘vA’ and ‘api’ (‘or’ and ‘also’). The word ‘Ekam’, as before, refers to the entity (destination, in this case) being Supreme – with no equivalent or superior, untainted, and auspicious in nature, and hence being the ‘Most likeable’ goal. ‘ayanam’ refers to the goal/result; the one which should be attained. Yudhishtira, in this question, intends to inquire about the highest goal (paraayanam) in everyone’s life that helps achieve immense benefits both in this world as well as the nether, in Bhishma’s opinion. Thus are the first two questions on the “Goal” (purushartha – the Supreme Entity and Destination) that needs to be attained by every soul.