[Advaita-l] Re: Advaita-l Digest, Vol 1, Issue 24

Jay Nelamangala jay at r-c-i.com
Thu May 29 09:41:53 CDT 2003

Dear VidyAshankar,

Thanks for your reply.   It feels good to have a conversation
with a knowledgeable person like you.

Brahman is not anything like we know in this world.
or Brahman is jagad-vilakshaNa.

Shrutis/Geetha  describe this  concept variously as :

Brahman has 'ears and eyes' all over.
Brahman has no ears and no eyes like we have.

"sarvataha pANipAdam tat sarvaOkshi shirOmukham"
Brahman can "see" from all of its organs
Brahman can "hear" from all of its organs

ShwEtAshwatara describes Brahman as :
"He grabs without hands, He  goes without legs" etc

"sarvEndriya vivarjitam"  in the Geetha,
"achakshuhshrOtram tad apANi pAdam nityam vibhum"
"akAyam avraNam asnAviragum"   in upanishats

What do we learn from all this?
Brahman is not anything like that we already know or jagad-vilakshaNa.

Then,  How is Brahman like?
"Anandam brahmaNO vidvAn",  "satyam jnAnam anantam brahma" etc
tell us that His "body" is jnAna-Ananda-shareera.

Brahman is also of the form sat-chit-Ananda- in an infinite scale,
satyam-jnAnam-anatam-brahma, but His body is not made out of prakrti,  
because it is pure jnAna-Ananda-shareera.

"parAsya shaktihi vividhaiva shrooyatE,  svAbhAvikI jnAna, bala, kriyA" tells us
that, it is only a matter of expression that we speak about Brahman and "His Body",
we don't make any distinction between any attribute of Brahman,  such as His
body, His knowledge, His power, His will etc and  Brahman Itself.   Each one
of them is Brahman Itself.   Similarly each of His "body-part"  is Brahman Itself.

> Where do you get that from? And "not tainted by prakRti" is different from
> the intended complete absence of prakRti and its effects. No indriya-s,
> period, that is what Sruti and smRti say.

When Shruti/smritis talk about His indriyas,   they are talking about
Geetha puts it as "sarvatOkshi shirOmukham".

When Shruti/Smritis talk about His not having indriyas, they are talking
about His not having
prAkrita indriyas.   Geetha puts it as "sarvEndriya vivarjitam"

This is the reason, why we see  no contradiction between
"sarvatah pANipAdam" and "apANipAdam"  etc.

When we understand Shruti/Smritis consistenly in this fashion without using
I am not quite sure why  we still need adhyArOpa-apavAda.

>adhyAropa-apavAda is
>the technique deliberately adopted by Sruti, in order to use words to go
>beyond words, and in order to use our mental constructions to go beyond the
>mind. After all, brahman is that "yato vAco nivartante aprApya manasA

Shrutis say,  when you understand Brahman through words,   you can
understand Brahman
only partially,  because of  Brahman's infinite nature.   "Om IkshatErna
ashabdam Om"
makes it clear that Brahman is not ashabda,  because Shruti/Smritis do
describe Brahman.

There is a difference between "Indescribable thro words"  and
"Describable but not fully because of the Infinite nature of the subject

Given all this,  I am not sure how we still need adhyArOpa-apavAda to
understand shruti.

Jayakrishna Nelamangala
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