Tath Tvam Asi (Thou Art That)
U might already be wondering what the title is .Some of u guys might have no clue about it .Some of u might have already known a great deal about it but I guess most of u guys might have heard about it but have no clear picture about what this famous saying tries to convey. So was I 'till now.
O'rite, no more suspense...
Tath Vam Asi is one of the six MahaVakyas that Upanishads of the Vedic System and is perhaps the most popular of them.Other Mahavakyas can be found here. So, What is is so great about this ?
"Thou Art That" implies that we(Jeevathma) are all parts and parcels of the Lord (Paramathma) as it is artistically conveyed as "Paramaathmudu Jeevaathmudu" in Saint Tyagaraja's Krithi, JnanaMosagaradha in the extremely fitting Purvi Kalyani Raga.
u might be already asking "wait a sec ,dude.. u mean to say that we are gods??" Not I,but the Upanishads.
Let me try and explain this briefly. According to two popular school of thoughts of ancient india, VishishtAdvaita dares to explain us the subtle Truth conveyed in the phrase. For conveying some meaningful info to u guy ,I am forced to introduce a few vedic terms.
Brahman: also refered as the Paramaathma ,the ever-lasting reality.
Chit: A pure being that is sensitive
Achit: material world
So says the Veda, " Before creation, there existed only the Brahman composing of Chit and Achit.Brahman decides to expand its components and so it expanded chit by giving it form,name etc according to its karma. Then Brahman got into chit and Achit".Hence,the Vedas say that Brahman is the material cause of the universe.hmm,,dont u sense something fishy going on???so, do i.:)..
If the Brahman got into the chit and achit it should also be subjected to the influence of the karma. But the Vedas proclaim that the Brahman is "Untouchable".Sure it is 'coz the Brahman that got into Chit and Achit is not the same as Brahman itself. It is the Brahman with expanded Chit and Achits.Hence what actually expands and contracts is Brahman's forms and not Brahman itself.
Thus,"We(You) are same as the Brahmin expanded" is the actual essence of "Tath Tvam Asi".Having said this, I'm still curious about y brahman wanted to expand in the first place?may be he wanted to see people trying so hard to understand some simple universal truth that has been conveyed in the vedas....just kidding..but I will be certainly be interested in knowing what u guys have to say? do leave me a comment
More detailed explanation can be found here
Great indeed are the Gods who have sprung out of Brahman- Atharva Veda