Bhagavad kr^pa (grace of God)

Gummuluru Murthy gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Mon Jan 19 09:03:44 CST 1998

On Fri, 16 Jan 1998, sadananda wrote:

> Sri Gummaluru Murthy wrote:
> >
> >I would like to think this way. Wherever there is a jeeva, there is
> >avidya. Wherever there is avidya, there is jeeva. Without jeeva, there is
> >no avidya; and without avidya, there is no jeeva. Thus, avidya and jeeva
> >are synonymous.
> What  you say appears to be logical.  But when we go to sushupti state,
> there is avidya as non-apprehension, but there is no mis-apprehension.  I
> am an individual - I am this body, this mind and this intellect - that
> notion with ego is Jeeva.  In the deep sleep state, there are no notions.
> At the same time there is no knowledge that I am the total either.  Hence
> in that state pure non-apprehension is there but the mis-apprehension that
> I am this and this is not there.

But, if the jeeva concept were not present during the wake-up state
itself, there is no mis-apprehension and hence non-apprehension during
the sushhupti state does not arise. (I mean by the jeeva concept that I,
the jeeva am the doer concept).

> If I understand correctly the notion of Jeeva and avidya are both before
> the birth of the time concept.  Jeeva should be a product of avidya - non-
> apprehension leading to misapprehension.  I am,  is not the problem  but I
> am this and this, is the problem.     But frankly, both are beyond the
> concept of the intellect.  Hence this cannot be intellectually settled.  If
> you feel they are synonyms so be it.  May be in the state of meditation
> when we realize, we will ourselves will know the truth, which is beyond all
> these understandings and misunderstandings.
> Hari Om!
> Sadananda

My feeling is that the avidya and jeeva concepts mutually support each
other and depend on each other for their survival. If the myth of one is
shattered, the other one also falls out.

Now, I like to put a few sentences here about the role of Ishwara in
advaita, which some list members may not agree with. Hovever, I would be
grateful for comments and clarifications.

1. Ishwara is the creator. When we "see" creation and the world, we have
   to have a creator and hence we invoke Ishwara.

2. Ishwara is the controller of mAya. MAya is responsible for the
   plurality we "see".

3. The most important role and usefulness for the concept of Ishwara is
   in the annihilation of the ego of the jeeva [I am the doer and enjoyer
   concept]. Again, mAya is responsible for the jeeva to think that he/she
   is the doer. For the destruction of this concept, the concept of
   Ishwara (whose grace is responsible for the welfare of the jeeva) is
   required. Saguna Brahman, as the wielder of the mAya, is capable of
   providing kr^pa (grace). On way to recognizing non-duality and the
   sameness of Atman and Brahman, the jeeva has to have his/her ego
   smashed and the concept of saguna Brahman (Ishwara) does that.

On the other hand, difficulty with the concept of Ishwara in advaita
is the following:

1. The concept of Ishwara has also got to die before recognizing the
   sameness of Atman and Brahman (just like the concepts of jeeva,
   avidya etc).

2. Atman is nirguna Brahman, but Atman can never be Ishwara. Thus the
   concept of Ishwara is an irreconcilable dualistic concept. The death
   of this dualistic concept would be after the death of the concept of
   the jeeva. We need the concept of Ishwara when we see ourselves as
   individual jeeva and we seek bhagavad kr^pa (grace of Ishwara) for
   attainment of jnana. As Katha upanishhad says, when the desires that
   dwell in the heart die away (even the desire to attain jnana), the
   mortal becomes immortal and attains Brahman here itself.

My apologies if my above views offend anyone's thinking. I am just
thinking out loud with half-baked thoughts. As usual, I would be most
grateful for any comments, clarifications, and useful references in the
literature on this topic.

Gummuluru Murthy
Yadaa sarve pramucyante kaamaa ye'sya hr^di shritaah
atha martyo'mr^to bhavatyatra brahma samashnute   Katha Upanishhad II.3.14

When all the desires that dwell in the heart fall away, then the mortal
becomes immortal, and attains Brahman even here.

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