some questions

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Thu May 4 23:21:04 CDT 2000

On Thu, 4 May 2000, V V S Mani wrote:

> Shri. Jaldharji,
> Namaskarams.
> I have a few funny questions.
> In my childhood, I use to ask many people one question- what if there is no
> world- I used to try and visualise what will be there if nothing is there- I
> presume I was perhaps trying to understand  what will happen during  and
> after Pralayam.

Advaita Vedanta cannot really be called an idealistic philosophy.  The
stuff of the universe is real but misunderstood.  So there is never a time
when there is nothing.  However that "something" isn't necessarily what we
think it is.

> I understand that The Lord annhilates everything during pralayam to the
> unmanifest state and brings them back to the manifest state after kindful
> offer of 'rest'to all souls- back to where they left the previous body
> at-based on the karmas till then.
> But what will be the identity of the various souls in the various lokas
> including Vaikunthas and Kailaasa etc. Like for instance what will be the
> routine for these souls- I believe in Vaikuntha the souls have bodies with
> four handed Vishnu form etc. How is it Kailaasa and other higher planets or
> lokas?

There is the concept of krama mukti.  Those who are almost at the door of
moksha will be released then it is the rest who will be "recycled."

> Do the souls keep serving The Lord in those Lokas? what do they do? so many
> in numbers? At the end of the life of Brahma , after that pralayam( is it
> Aadhyantha pralayam) I read that the souls in the spiritual lokas (Brahma
> loka, Kailasa, Vaikunthas) (by the way the term Brahma loka-does it mean all
> the spirutual lokas?)merge into the Brahman at that time. Are they
> helplessly merged into the Brahman or they can decide to be in the Vaikuntha
> etc and continue to serve The Lord?

The souls have no independent existence.  They are one and the same as
Brahman but deluded by Maya.  When the obstacle of Maya is removed they
disappear.  (Actually they were never there.)

> Once the merging of the individual soulwith Paramatma happens, the identity
> of the individual soul is lost is not it? is this what is called Atma
> Nivedhan at the highest above Shravanam, keerthanam, vandanam, padasevanam
> etc etc .


> What are all the spiritual lokas from where one does not come back to this
> Mrityuloka.

In the Anandamimamsa section of the Taittireyopanishad, a comparison of
the different lokas is made to the bliss of Brahman.  Insofar as one is
seperated from ones true nature it is Hell and to be nearer to it is

> I read that Lord Hanuman will be the next Brahma. Does He then
> leave the devotional service to Lord Rama-or He could be discharging the
> duties as service to The Lord.

I think the latter.  Remember one of the names of Bhagawan is Padmanabha,
He whose navel contains a lotus.  Fro this lotus Brahma is born to do the
work of creation.

> When a person gets to think of The Lord at the time of passing the body,
> when does he/she go to the spiritual planets for mukthis other than Sayujya?
> immediate or is there some timelag? does any of these things depend on the
> various samskaras to be performed for the first year till varushabdhikam? I
> even heard that at the end of one of the ceremonies of Anthimkriyas, they
> use to say that the grandfather or his father leaves one loka? is it leaving
> of Pitruloka?

The fate of the soul depends on its' accumulated karma.  Moksha on the
other hand has nothing to do with karma.  Karma can in no way cause Moksha
but it can remove obstacles that prevent Moksha.  So non-performance of
the recuired vidhis can have a harmful effect.

> who all will go to pitruloka? Lord Krishna says that those who
> worship Pitrus go to pitruloka - those who worship Me , come to me etc.

That passage is describing the difference between those who perform
actions merely for selfish reasons or as an end in themselves (they will
go to pitraloka) and those who avoid selfish actions and only do the
obligatory ones as a sacrifice to God.  (They will join Bhagawan.)

> Where do we get Bhagavad Gita with Bhasyam of Shri ShankaraBhavadPadaal-
> English?I have many copies of iskcon books only. Is Bhagavatham with
> purports by any of the Acharyas in the disciplic succession of
> Bhagavadpaadaal available- english? I am planning to go over to India by end
> of this month for 3 weeks- mainly Madras, Thirupathy, Shringeri etc. I would
> like to buy these books if available. I will enquire in Shringeri of course,
> God willing.

The Gita Supersite at has many editions and
translations of the Gita including this.  Previously, list members have
also recommended the translation by Allady Mahadeva Shastry.

As for the Bhagavata Purana, I have a Gujarati translation which mainly
follows the Advaita interpretation and a Sanskrit commentary.  I don't
know about other languages.  Once in the library I saw a book called "The
Advaitic Theism of the Bhagavata Purana" by Daniel Sheridan.  But I
haven't read it so I can't tell you if it is any good.  I think it is a
scholarly study not a translation anyway.

One thing we hope to achieve with the e-documents project is to put as
many works of our Acharya (with translations) as possible on the web so
that those of us who do not have good access to libraries etc. can make
use of them.

> By the way 8 th May is Shri Shankara Jayanthi ,


>I think. Are we supposed to
> fast on that Auspicious day?

I know that around here the South Indian mandirs usually have big programs
to celebrate the occasion.  My opinion is that as this is not a shastrokta
utsava there is no need to fast etc. but we should all do something to
remember and respect our guru parampara.

> Namaskarams. Kindly excuse me for asking may be foolish, silly, unworthy
> questions.

Any question which is asked with a sincere desire to learn and a
willingness to accept the answer is a good one and you shouldn''t be
embarrassed to ask it.  How else can we learn and grow?

>As tomorrow is holiday for us, I thought i will write something
> today.
> I was reading Golden Words of HH Shri Shri ChandraSekhara Bharathi
> Mahaswamigal of Shringeri. If of interest I will type them and send them by
> mail.

Yes please do this.  We will all benefit from hearing the words of such a
saint.  If you are going to quote long passages, please check to see if it
is still under copyright and if it is, try and get the permission of the
copyright holder.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

Archives :
Help     : Email to listmaster at
Options  : To leave the list send a mail to
           listserv at with
           SIGNOFF ADVAITA-L in the body.

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list