[Advaita-l] Re: gauDapAda kArikA-s

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Sat May 24 14:59:34 CDT 2003

>>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

Look, in a discussion of fine points of philosophy, I am trying to take 
things beyond the merely popular understanding of terms to the technical 
one. I have described in what sense jIva is sa-guNa brahman as distinguished 
from ISvara as sa-guNa brahman. If you choose to ignore that, it is your 

And pray, define what you mean by material attributes and transcendental 
attributes, and also justify why you make an arbitrary decision not to 
include material attributes in a discussion of sa-guNa brahman.

>In that case, if you maintain that brahman is deluded, then you are 
>equating brahman with an unreal entity *jIva*.

There is no point in arguing around in cirlces. My view is this - nobody but 
you sees this chimera of brahman being deluded. I do not maintain that 
brahman is deluded. gauDapAda does not. Neither does Sankara, nor does 
sureSvara. Yet, the last author has no qualms in saying that if you want to 
look for the locus of avidyA, then that locus is brahman. It seems to me 
that you do not understand how this can be so. You falsely accuse gauDapAda 
of saying that brahman is deluded, because you misunderstand his text. 
Enough said.

>>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?

Why should it?

>>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

As mentioned above, NOBODY says this. That you think that somebody says this 
is part of your own delusion.

>>The question does not arise, for reasons described above.
>I did not get it.

I can well understand why you do not get it, but refrain from repeating 
myself, for the result will still remain your not getting 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 
>Going by your reasoning, whatever anyone tells you should not be avidya. 
>Why not?

You misunderstand again. It isn't my reasoning, but yours that tells you 
that everything that anyone tells you is avidyA. I just wrote it out 
explicitly, for the purpose of verbalizing the argument and showing you how 
it would lead to absurd conclusions.

>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 

And pray, who is the jIvanmukta - the jIva or brahman? If the former, as he 
continues to remain in a body, and as he sleeps and wakes up daily, he is 
deluded (according to YOUR reasoning, not according to mine). If the latter, 
he cannot sleep and wake up daily, and he cannot even remain embodied. Do 
you mean to say that the jIvanmukta jumps from being undeluded brahman in 
the turIya state to a deluded jIva in the other states? And what is it then, 
that causes the change from one state to another?

>>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 
>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.

As I said before, NOBODY says that brahman is deluded, although you seem to 
think that someone does. If you wish to tilt at windmills, there is little 
anyone can do except to point out to you that it is quite futile.

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

In what manner would you distinguish between the waking state of a 
jIvanmukta and that of another? What is it then, when a jIvanmukta eats, 
sleeps and wakes up? Finally, how would you know that a given person is a 
jIvanmukta and that another is not?


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