[Advaita-l] Infinity and the liberated soul

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Fri May 6 13:18:04 CDT 2005

Ramesh Badisa made another good point:

You are referring to gods in this regard. Right? They cannot be
all-pervasive. How? Let us see. It was agreed earlier that gods also have
certain form of body. Gita, 18/40 says that even gods are not free from
trigunas, which indicates the existence of senses, mind, buddhi for gods
too.  Prasna Up. 6.5 says that all 16 kalas of an eligible soul will merge
in divine at the time of death of the physical body. Before shedding off
the body, all these 16 kalas exist even to the gods. In that case, how can
gods be all-pervasive?

First of all a slight digression.  Yes indeed in this particular context
we are talking about Gods (devas) and God (Ishvara) as opposed to humans.
however the key difference is not species but knowledge.  Even amongst
divine beings there are some who are more ignorant than others.  Even
amongst humans, there are some whose jnana is equal or even better than
divine beings.  So a seeker should focus not on gaining supernatural or
worldly powers (as useful as they may be) but on knowledge alone.

The next adhikarana of the Brahmasutras deals with whether the liberated
beings need to be embodied or not.

abhAvaM bAdari.h aaha hyevam || 10 ||

"Absence according to Badari because it is said thus"

Maharshi Badari says that the liberated beings need have no form.  They do
however have a mind because it is said they have will as shown in sutra 8.
but a body is not necessary to exert that will.

bhAvaM jaiminiH vikalpAmananAt || 11 ||

"Existence according to Jaimini because of the mention of multiple forms"

Maharshi Jaimini says they do need forms.  Else why would Shruti even
bother to bring up that they can have forms?  As was mentioned in the very
first post Mimamsakas like Maharshi Jaimini believe that the Gods take up
multiple forms to be present at multiple yajnas.  For the jnanis as well,
they have to have form so they can get jnana and pass it on to others.

dvAdashAhavadubhayavidhaM bAdarAyaNo'taH || 12 ||

"As the 12-day yajna is both kinds says Badarayana from this"

Since there is evidence from Shruti for both points of view, Maharshi
Badarayana, the founder of Vedanta thinks that both options are possible
just as the 12-day soma yajna is sometimes classified as a sattra
(session) and sometimes as an ahina (daily sacrifice.)  In other words
some of the liberated beings exist as mind only and some have one or more
bodies.  It is their choice.

tanvabhave saMdhyavatupapatteH || 13 ||

"the analogy for the bodiless is to dream sleep"

In a dream you can create a whole world but it is private to yourself.
So also for the bodiless, the effects of their samkalpa are personal to
them only.

bhave jAgradvat || 14 ||

"for the embodied, like wakefullness"

Whereas your intentions when awake have effects in the real world.

So based on all this, we can say that Bhagavan Yama did not have to teach
Nachiketa because of penance for the sin of disrespecting a guest.  The
body of an average person is subject to the effects of merit and sin.  But
the muktas take on form their own purposes such as in order to teach one
who was still ignorant,

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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