[Advaita-l] Infinity and the liberated soul

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Thu May 5 22:46:16 CDT 2005

[Was Re: [Advaita-l] Questions about mergence]

In the last post on this topic I made the observation that the atmas who
are free from samsara but identify with gunas are infinite in time and
space which sparked a lively thread on the subject.  The next few sutras
examine the implications of an infinite jiva.

saMkalpAdeva tu tacchrute.h || 8 ||

"But through will only, according to Shruti"

According to i.e. Chandogyopanishad 8.2.1, the liberated soul can get all
he desires such as the pitraloka through his will only.  However the
karmakanda says that one wins the pitraloka through following the path of
the moon and other rituals.  So how can this be?

The person deluded by maya believes in time and place so for him pitraloka
is a destination to be achieved by a particular means.   But for the one
who identifies with saguna Brahman, he already exists in all places.  So
it is only necessary for him to focus his attention on that one part of
his being localized to a certain place.

ata eva chAnanyAdhipati.h || 9 ||

"and for this reason he is without another lord"

If we take the definition of God to be an omnipotent, omniescent being,
then it follows there is only room in the universe for one God.  Thus it
is not enough to say a liberated soul is "like God." He is existent in all
points of all dimensions of the universe so he _is_ God.

Note all this discussion concerns the jiva which identifies with Brahman
in the saguna (posessing name and form) aspect.  Hence the definition of
infinite is "existing in all places and all times"  However Brahman in the
nirguna aspect is infinite in a different way, it is simply without
measure.  Place and time do not apply to it.  I believe this confusion
between two different senses of the word infinity was at the root of
Ramesh's problem with the this concept.

Ramesh also raised some other good points which are addressed by the next
few sutras which I will cover in my next post.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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