[Advaita-l] RE: Dasa Avatars(In response to Shri B. Shankar)

Vaidya Sundaram vaidya_sundaram at hotmail.com
Wed May 21 18:31:47 CDT 2003

 Yet again, I apologize for this question late in this discussion.

----- Original Message -----
From: "kalyan chakravarthy" <kalyan_kc at hotmail.com>

> This does not show that brahman is deluded. If you however maintain that
> brahman is deluded, then you have the explicit word of the Katha upanishad
> against you.
> Ka. 5.11. na lipyate loka dukhena  (unaffected by the miseries of the
> Note that misery can be either physical or mental.
> If you maintain that brahman is ignorant of Itself, then you have the
> explicit word of the bRhadAraNyaka upanishad 1.4.10 against you, which
> that brahman knew Itself.

Well, why does "Brahman knowing itself" a refutation of brahman being
somehow deluded or ignorant of its own Self ?? Brahman knowing itself is
clearly accepted prior to any self delusion, or after removal of any such
delusion, since the delusion is "as it were". No one ever says brahman is
forever deluded. I think such an interpretation can be confirmed with the AU
1.1.1 saying "In the beginning this was but the absolute Self alone. There
was nothing else whatsoever that winked. It thought, 'Let me create the

Could it not be that the brhadaranyaka upanishad portion you quote be
referring to just such a state, prior to or subsequent to any onset/removal
or ignorance? A play on itself? Also, as I understand it, "brahman knowing
itself" is used here more to describe that there is nothing else to be
known, hence Brahman has to know only itself. Also, the act of knowing, the
subject - object relationship etc., none of these are there.

As for Ka 5.11 - when the upanishad notes that Brahman is not affected by
the miseries of the world, it is because it is never a part of the world.
Yet again, Brahman being  ignorant (or being the locus of ignorance) is not
denied by this quote.
(As the sun, which helps all eyes to see, is not affected by the blemishes
of the eyes or of the external things revealed by it, so also the one Atman,
dwelling in all beings, is never contaminated by the misery of the world,
being outside it.)
Note: if the fact that the Ka.Up here states that brahman is outside the
world is given as proof that brahman is never deluded, then are we not
positing duality implicityly? I say this because we would then conceive of a
world that is outside of brahman or apart from brahman, just as brahman is
outside of or apart from the world?

> If you still maintain that brahman is deluded, then Sri Krishna being
> brahman, you have to accept that Sri Krishna is deluded.
> [ --- ]

If you decide to attach nama and roopa to brahman and call him Sri Krishna
Bhagavan, then you also have to simultaneously conceive of infinite name's
and forms, and not stop with just Sri Krishna Bhagavan. Of those infinite
names and forms, you have to distinguish between which are considered
deluded and which are not!! Also, that brahman deludes itself somehow does
not mean that brahman does not in itself have the means to the liberation
spoken of. What I mean is, perhaps there is some ignorance, or delusion. But
that does not mean it cannot liberate itself. Take for example an analogy
given in a different source. There is matter or material that can be burned.
The existence of material itself is duality (or ignorance), but the nature
of the material is posited as being capable of being burnt away. Once burnt
away, neither the fire nor the material exists, restoring the prior state of
unitary ness. Hence, even if the unitary brahman were deluded and assumed a
form of duality, of Arjuna and Sri Krishna, Sri Krishna and Arjuna (or the
name's and forms) together burnt themselves into unitary-ness by knowledge.

> If you still maintain that brahman is deluded, since brahman is advitIyam,
> you should explain to me why the world which is a product of
> due to ignorance is not disssolved after a single jIva achieves

The question of why is not simultaneous liberation acheived for every jiva
is a moot one. The dream elements are dissolved away upon awakening of the
dreamer. So also here. The jiva here is simultaneously the reader and the
one who types. Upon awakening, there is no longer a difference. Hence I
think your objection is invalid.

bhava shankara desikame sharaNam

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