[Advaita-l] Questions on Isvara

Siva Senani Nori sivasenani at yahoo.com
Wed Jul 19 03:36:46 CDT 2006

  ayya reddy gaaru punah namaskAramulu.
  Since Isvara = Brahman + Maya
  and    Jiva = Brahman + Avidya
  and since Avidya is a part of Maya (as everything has to be indeed part of Maya, that being all that is any of the three gunas) 
  we have Jiva as a part of Isvara (what is left unsaid is that, Jiva therefore is not full Isvara). Visishtadvaita proved using elementary algebra! If the usual mathematical transformations were to be valid, we also have other interesting results
  since J = B + A, if follows that J > B, that is Jiva is more then Brahman! And, since it is common knowledge, and since Sri Sankara specifically said so, Brahman is higher than Isvara, and since we had earlier demonstrated that J > B, if follows that J > I as well. No, sir this math is not right.
  Your poser "why does Isvara not cure the world of evil" is valid, without the involved derivations preceding it. The easiest answer seems: What is the world? What is the evil in it? Who are suffering from this evil? All this is a projection, an illusion, Maya. Since there is no world, no evil, question is invalid, Isvara's conduct is unobjectionable. That surely would sound escapist to most non-liberated.
  Because I see the world, I see the evil in it, I am sometimes the evil in it, and because I suffer from the evil, I still ask "Why does Isvara not cure the world of evil?". Within the reference frame of the vyAvahArika world, we then need to take recourse to the karma siddhanta. One begets based on what one does. 
  Pushing further, we say, just after srishTi, there is no sancita (accumulated) or prArabdha karma. The slate being clean, how and why did pApakAryAs start? Because the first being or the first faintly evil being had an evil thought. O God, why did you let that evil thought spring up? Or if you had to create with a definite evil component in it, why did you create at all? 
  At this stage, I am told, God's answer is "Lila - Sport, my dear! This is my sport!"
Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy <annapureddy at gmail.com> wrote:
I have some questions on the goal of advaita, and on Isvara.

-- What is the difference between a person who achieves cessation of
all desires without endorsing the Self to be everything (like the
budhda), and a person who achieves cessation of all desires while
endorsing the Self (like shaMkarAchArya), from an advaitic
perspective? From what I gather, it seems like the budhda was treated
as a big heretic in not endorsing the Self. My question is this --
advaita also seems to claim that it is desire that makes a jIvAtma
transmigrate. Thus, when there is no more desire, the jIvatma should
cease to be -- whether it identifies with brahma or something else,
seems more a matter of debate on ontology. I understand that advaita
also has the job of vEdic exegesis to do, and hence it has to assert
the Self. But apart from that reason, is there any other reason why a
person who has achieved cessation of desire without accepting the Self
is incomplete (in terms of achieving mOkSha)?

-- I have been reading the tattva bOdha (the traditional ascription of
authorship seems to be to shaMkarAchArya, but I am not sure what the
modern scholarly consensus is), and Isvara is defined in that work as
a combination of brahma (consciousness) + mAya. jIva is defined as a
combination of brahma + avidya (avidya is also identified with the
kAraNa sharIra). avidya also consists of the three guNas, but the
sattva guNa could be dominated by either rajas.h or tamas.h. In the
case of Isvara though, the sattva guNa is unaffected by rajas.h or
tamas.h. Thus, it would seem that the jIva is a "part" of Isvara
(Please note that "part" here refers to avidya being a part of mAya,
as mAya comprises of everything which is triguNAtmika).

Now to my question. If jIva is thus dependent on Isvara, then why does
Isvara not make sure there is no evil in the world? The answer from a
dvaita perspective is that the so-called evil comes from the jIva, and
Isvara out of his compassion does not change the jIva because changing
the jIva is tantamount to killing that jIva and creating a new jIva. I
am a bit unsatisfied with this explanation, as I feel that if the
presence of evil were really bad, Isvara would be compassionate enough
to set the evil jIvas aright (even if it amounts to killing them. And
in any case, logic in such cases could be twisted to support either
theory, so I am presuming there ought to be vEdic statements
supporting the dvaita position on Isvara's compassion.) So, presumably
there is a higher purpose for the presence of evil (I am clueless as
to what that could be), or a different reason for why Isvara does
allow the evil to continue. Are there any explanations from an
advaitic perspective on this issue? Thanks.



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