aadi and anaadi

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Feb 10 16:07:44 CST 2000

Ravi <msr at COMCO.COM> wrote:

>samsaara is often posited as anaadi to avoid some metaphysical
>complications. Assuming iishwara creates jiva at time t=0-. Then
>Prior to that the jiiva did not exist. So he has no puurva karma.
>If iishwara subjects the jiiva to a particular experience, then
>it is arbitrary and God loses the status of karmaphalapradaa. To
>avoid this complication saMsaara is said anaadi. Even though it
>is anaadi it has an end.

One has to look carefully at the context and the tradition of interpretation
here. The word bhUta can mean element (one of the classical five elements,
space, air, fire, water and earth), or it can mean "living being."
Similarly, the word Adi can mean "creator/originator" or it may simply mean
"the first." When we say Adi SankarAcArya, we certainly do not mean that the
bhAshyakAra was the creator of later SankarAcAryas, we simply mean that he
was the first.

Coming to ISvara and jIva, there is no school of vedAnta which actually
holds that ISvara creates the jIvas. In advaita, the question does not
even arise. In rAmAnuja's viSishTAdvaita, conscious and unconcious entities
are entwined in an inseperable manner and constitute the body of brahman,
who is identical to ISvara. In dvaita, ISvara and jIvas are eternal,
separate entities. In the Indian thinking, it should be clear that God is
not the creator of souls. In the BG verse, we can have a few different
meanings, e.g. bhagavAn is the first of all beings, or bhagavAn is the
creator of the material elements, or the substratum of the universe. I do
not have the bhAshya with me right now, but it would be preferable to look
up the interpretations given there.


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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