sadananda sada at ANVIL.NRL.NAVY.MIL
Thu Feb 27 10:32:59 CST 1997

srinivas Prasad Wrote:

>    Some questions,
>  1) When we look at the Picture of  GOD  what ever the description
>     shown ( Shanka, chakra, Four hands etc ....) , Is it just an Imagination
>     or the description from a person who has really seen  GOD.
>     Any Ref. from great authors ....

For a Bhakta, the form of the ishTadevata is real.

For a GYaani, He is in the form and beyond the form.  "They are in me but I
am not in them"

If God can be seen as an object in the universe, then the one who sees is
greater than God.  Object being a jaDa vastu, the seer being the chaitanya
vastu.  If God is realized, realization has to involve the identity of the
realizer and the realized.  Otherwise God again becomes another thought
that can be dismissed.

Kena Upanishad uplifts the bhakta beyond the forms to the truth - It
repeats five times

tadeva brahma twam viddi nedam yadidamupaasate||

Know that alone is Brahman not that this that you worship. That refers to
each time - That which mind can not think but because of which the mind has
the capacity to think, that which the one cannot speak but because of which
the speech has the capacity to speak, that which the eyes cannot see, but
because of which the eyes have the capacity to see, that which the ears
cannot hear but because of which the ears have the capacity to hear, etc.,

Any description or documentation by any authors will be subjective
experience. That neither proves nor disproves.

Krishna has declared that I pervade this universe in an unmanifested form,
Hence any manifested form cannot be the form of God.  On the other hand one
can invoke Him in any manifested form since he is there in all forms and
yet he is different from all the forms.  In the temples, during the
Sthaapana, they invoke to come and reside in that particular form.  In
ritual, you can use any form - a lamp, a turmeric ball etc saying that -
asmin bimbe shree (for example maahaa Vishnum) aavaahayaami.  In the end of
the puja there is visarjana also.

The particular forms -- shanka, chakra with niila megaha color  etc. are
all symbolic to turn the attention of the bhakta to higher. Symbols are
symbolic. Just as flag is symbolic of the abstract noun nation.   Our
Rushies have perfected in the God symbolism.  Those forms automatically
invoke in bhakta a divinity in him.
> 2) As i know Shankara composed " Bhaja Govindam" (hope i am right)
>    Why do we consider Shankara is against Vishnava philosophy
>    Since Shankara composed Bhajagovindam I am sure he was worshipping
>    Lord Vishnu.
Shankara is not against a Vishnava philosophy. All philosophies are dvaita
and are means to purify the mind.   Only his definition of Vishnu differs
from the Vishnavaas who think the Parabrahma has that "transcendental" form
with ananta kalyaana Gunaas"  - Just as that shown in the Viswaruupa in
11th chapter.

The Hare Krishanas think that Sankara preached advaita first and then in
his later years he realized his mistake and wrote Bhajagovindam saying that
surrender to Govinda is the ultimate.  This theory is being propagated in
all ISKCON books.

> 3)  I don't deny the fact that Ramayana and Mahabarath ocuured on this
>     Earth. I want to know how can we relate to Darwin's Theroy and
>     Evelution theory. How old is Ramayana some thing like 5000BC or...
>     Because Evelution  Theory is based on 2-3 Million years.
>     So Can we conclude First is Evolution and Surrvival for the Fittest
>     and then Ramayan -. > Mahabharath -> Kaliyug (present).
>     I am sure somewhere i am wrong.

Evolution presupposes creation since for something to evolve, some thing
has to be there. That which cannot be explained, science invokes accidents
- life started by accident - What is life itself is beyond the definition
of science.
- big bang is another big accident. But the source of the matter and for
the laws that govern the bang is not accounted for.

There is growing awareness that Indian civilization started much before.
Read the article by on Indus-Saraswati Civilization by Dr. S. Kalyanaraman
- the copy of the article is in the Sanskrit Documents list.

>   4)  How did Shankara 's life came to an end.

I donot know. Some say he went into meditation and left merging himself one
with the many.

Hari Om!

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