[Advaita-l] Re: gauDapAda kArikA-s

kalyan chakravarthy kalyan_kc at hotmail.com
Fri May 23 22:31:47 CDT 2003

>>This type of thinking is rejected in the brahmasUtras. I have
>No. That jIva is a kind of sa-guNa brahman is nowhere rejected in the 
>brahmasUtra or anywhere else in Advaita technical literature. Otherwise, 
>the jIva brahman identity cannot be described at all, in any sense of the 
>term. You have to look beyond the guNa-s in order to see the identity. 
>Popularly, people think only of ISvara when the term saguNa brahman is 
>used, but that is not correct.

Why not? When you say saguNa brahman, you dont mean material attributes. You 
only mean transcendental attributes. Unlike saguNa brahman who is all 
pervading, jIva does not extend beyond the body or else you will have a 
confusion in the karma phalas. *asantateshchAvyatikarah* One more thing - 
jIva is no longer called jIva after liberation. Which means brahman is 
undeluded. Otherwise there is no guarentee that liberation is permanent.

>No, you misunderstand. When the mANDUkya Sruti says, AtmA catushpAt, it 
>does not say that the AtmA in one state is a different entity from the AtmA 
>in another state. Rather, it is the same AtmA, only the states differ. 
>Viewed epistemologically, jIva realizes the identity with brahman in 
>liberation and not in regular waking, dreaming and sleeping states. 
>However, from the perspective of ontology, the jIva is always brahman, 
>precisely because delusion, which causes the three states, itself only 
>appears; it is not real. If you wish to maintain that the jIva brahman 
>identity (at an ontological level) is really invalid in one state but 
>really valid in another, then you have to say that whatever differentiates 
>the one state from the other is also real (at an ontological level).

Though the mANDUkya sruti says that the Atman has four states, it calls only 
turIya or the fourth as the Atman. *sa AtmA*. Thus it must be understood 
that the jIva who makes an appearance in the other three states is itself 
unreal. If that means that delusion is affecting delusion, then so be it. 
But brahman is always free from delusion. You wont confuse a reflection with 
the source even as long as the reflection exists. Even according to 
gaudapada, since the Self is imagining the individual soul, the individual 
soul(*jIva*) itself must be unreal.(not just the jIva-brahma bheda being 
unreal)  In that case, if you maintain that brahman is deluded, then you are 
equating brahman with an unreal entity *jIva*.

>But the svayam in this verse is connected to the jIva referenced three 
>verses earlier. So where is the problem, except with your misunderstanding 
>of gauDapAda?

Why does the world not dissolve if one jIva acheives liberation?

>Nowhere. And that is why delusion itself is an "as if", ultimately 
>speaking. brahman is not deluded. brahman, as the jIva, "appears" to be 

This is the point. Even as a vyavahArik satya, you cannot say that brahman 
is deluded. You would be contradicting bheda sruti if you do that. There is 
another problem with your reasoning. Your statement  - *appears to be 
deluded* This should mean that thinking saying that "brahman is deluded" is 
itself a delusion. In that case why propagate this idea?

>The question does not arise, for reasons described above.

I did not get it.

>However, for purposes of argument ...
>Say there is a guru somewhere you learn vedAnta from. A jIva inhabits his 
>body, and by definition, according to you, that jIva is not brahman, 
>because that jIva is deluded during the waking moments. What is your 
>guarantee then that anything that this guru teaches you (necessarily during 
>the waking state), including the knowledge of brahman, is not avidyA?

Going by your reasoning, whatever anyone tells you should not be avidya. Why 

By the way you quite misunderstand my position. Did I say that there can be 
no jIvanmukta?  My point is that by no reasoning can you force delusion on 

>On second thought, forget about this hypothetical guru. There is a jIva 
>inhabiting the body you call Kalyan, again by definition, according to you, 
>different from brahman, because of delusion. All that you know, including 
>the brahmasUtras and the upanishads, you have learned predominantly in the 
>waking state - from books, from your parents, from your teachers. What is 
>your guarantee that anything you have learnt is not avidyA?

The problem of bhagavad gIta is not similar to the problem of the 
upanishads. Sruti is believed to be un-authored and therefore is free from 
such questioning. The problem arises only for the bhagavad gIta. You can 
accept BG as valid only if you accept that Sri Krishna is undeluded. If you 
say brahman is also deluded, then you have no reason to assume the validity 
of the bhagavad gIta.

>Another question - does your conception of liberation entail physical 

I accept jIvanmuktas.

>Any jIva inhabiting a body that goes through waking, dreaming and sleeping 
>states is deluded, and therefore not brahman, right?

What another jIva is undergoing is not our guess. I mean to say that a 
jIvanmukta cannot be called as undergoing the three states.

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