[Advaita-l] Re: Is an ISvara compatible with advaita?

Amuthan Arunkumar R aparyap at yahoo.co.in
Wed Feb 16 07:50:14 CST 2005

namo nArAyaNAya

Dear SrI rAmakr.shNan bAlasubramanian,

before anything else, let me clear a small
misunderstanding : i'm not trying to refute advaita.
neither am i supporting viSishTAdvaita. i was just
asking for proper explanation of some questions which
sounded very tough to answer (for me).  

> --- Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian
<rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com> wrote: 
> For advaitins shruti pramaaNa asserts non-duality,
> example the
> bR^ihadaaraNyaka says yatra hi dvaitam etc. So there
> is no Ishvara and
> jIva distinction in reality, as per this passage.
> Before asking
> questions about Ishvara, etc., it is necessary to
> understand that for
> advaitins this assertion of shruti pramaaNa alone is
> enough. Blueness
> of sky etc are _illustrations_ meant to help the
> ignorant, not the
> true state of reality. If the illsutration matched
> reality perfectly,
> what is the use of yato vaaco nivartante" etc?

as far as i can understand, ISvara exists only in the
vyAvahArika state. the above argument of urs suggests
to me that an ISvara has no place in advaita. if i can
rephrase my original question, what is the notion of
an ISvara according to advaita? my understanding goes
as follows : during the state of vyAvahArika, ISvara,
jIva and jagat are relatively eternal. in the
pAramArthika state, all duality is transcended and
only brahman exists. 

given this, and the fact that ISvara is a sarvajN.a,
the natural conclusion that He must know both brahman
(His svarUpam) and mAyA seems to go against advaita.

> --- Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian 

> Like Kartik, I too did not wish to participate in
> this discussion. It
> just has too many mis-understandings of advaita. It
> seems in almost
> periodic intervals we have mainly vishishhTAdvaitins
> posting questions
> such as these, in a somewhat combative tone (my
> personal opinion). 

presently, i'm neither a viSishTAdvaitin nor an
advaitin, though i "believe" that the upanishads can
furnish me all that i require to know; as i mentioned
earlier, i'm looking for solutions to some questions
that i found difficult to address myself.

> have had extensive phone conversations etc stemming
> from discussions
> on the bhakti list and it seems that some basic
> homework is required
> on the part of the vishishhTAdvaitins before they
> ask questions about
> Ishvara, etc. First they should understand advaita
> from texts like
> upadeshasaahasrii and not books like "Advaita and
> Vishistaadvaita: A
> comparative approach". It's just riddled with many 
> misinterpretations
> of advaita.

i've not read any book like "advaita and
vishistadvaita: a comparative approach". i haven't
read upadeSa sAhasri fully either. but based on
whatever i've read and listened about advaita, to my
knowledge, i haven't come across any proper
explanation to the question raised. 

as a minor note, if my tone was combative, please
forgive me. it was not intentional. 

hari sarvatra,

Amuthan Arunkumar R,
4th year, B.Tech/M.Tech Dual Degree,
Department of Aerospace Engineering,
Indian Institute of Technology Madras.
Address : 327, Tapti Hostel, IIT Madras.

Ph : 9840482709

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