[Advaita-l] RE: self-realization/salvation

ramesh badisa badisa66 at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 20 21:22:16 CDT 2006

Namaste sri Bhaskar ji and others,

“If my memory serves me right, I think we had discussed issues like  
  svarUpa and salvation *after physical death* in this very list earlier.
  The problem which I am facing with this  *merging process* has been 
  conveyed to you at that time I believe.  I dont know whether you have
  addressed those queries....” 
  Badisa: Yes prabhu ji. We did discuss, and I had addressed those queries. But, I never got any response from you later. For verification, you may please check the Digest, Vol 28, Issue 30, Wed, 31 Aug 2005. For the sake of your convenience, I am copying and pasting below:
  Beginning of quote:
  “If they are identically the same in all respects then they are
  indistinguishable and if they are together there is no way to separate 
  one from  the  other” ---- This is your question prabhu ji. Please check it in the above Digest.
  Badisa: All jivatmas are identical. But they are layered with different levels of ignorance. The qualified jiva gets the salvation and is divine in very absolute sense, without any type of limitations. The nirgun Brahman gets manifested into sagun Brahman for the sake creation etc activities. So long as the souls are bonded in karma, for that long, they are finite and have limitations. 
  On the other hand, if there is only one jivatma, as you are saying, then, its exit from one physical body should also make exit from all other upadhis at the same time. This would result death of all upadhis at the same time. Also attaining of salvation for one jivatma should also make salvation for all. But, these are not happening in this world. We see every body dying differently, getting salvation differently. The souls are identical but present more than one. It is like this. Suppose, there are ten pots, then the ether present in all these pots is one and the same, but present in different pots. Once, the pot is broken, the pot ether gets manifested its true essence as divine.  I agree that the very svarupa of jivatma is Brahman. But, when it is surrounded by ignorance of different levels, each may be called a jivatma. Now, they cannot be called Brahman in absolute sense. Because of limited nature and due to lack of powers as Brahman.  
  You have asked if apart from deha, indriya, manah, buddhi and antakara, is there any finite number of jives? But we need to know that these are nothing but prakruti. Brahman is above buddhi. Let me put a question in a different way. By asking if any finite number of jivas apart from deha 

etc, you are implying clearly that there is only one jivatma, with many dehas, indriyas 
 etc. How can you ascribe as having many dehas, many indriyas, many minds, many buddhis etc to the same one jivatma? How is it possible? One mind, for example is sufficient, and similarly one buddhi is sufficient for one jivatma. But by asking apart from deha etc, you are implying their multiple existence for single jivatma. What is the significance of having multiple existence of these things, which represent prakruti? We do not know if atma is hypothetical being or something else. We certainly cannot say atma as a chemira of the mind. Why? Because, the moment you say that atma is so and so, you
 are ascribing something to it. This ascription is arising from mind and buddhi, and these two cannot tell what the atma is. Because, atma is above buddhi. So, mind is still inferior than buddhi. So, mind cannot judge the existence of atma or say what atma is. That is the reason it is well said in our scriptures, that atma is present there before mind and buddhi went there. When Lord Krishna says that he is atma in sarva bhuta (10/20), it can also be understood in plural sense. See the word ‘data’ can be used both singular as well plural sense. As per the situation, we understand it as required. Since the atma in all upadhis is essentially the same, Lord Krishna used atma. It does not essentially be understood in singular form. To confirm this, please see Katha Up. 5th valli 7th mantra (sri Shankara bhasyam, trans. By swami Gambhirananda ji) where it says that some souls (jivatmas) enter the womb
 etc.  It means that the existence of jivatmas is accepted. Also see Mundaka
 up, where it says the origination of many jivas from divine (2.1.1). IMHO, it can be acceptable because, see sutra 4.4.15. This sutra indicates the multiplying of several forms at the same time. The saguna Brahman can assume n number of forms and be like jivatmas. I agree fully that all these forms are identical. But that is not the point here. The point is existence of many forms of the same thing. This is what I am saying jivatmas. The above sruti texts also support for existence of more than one jiva. It does not mean that the conditioned soul is different in absolute sense. Once the show is finished, the qualified soul will go back to the original source, the way several forms merge in the original soul. By saying the multiple existence of jivas, their finite nature is invariably implied. Indeed, the conditioned soul is finite, as it is not present everywhere at all the times. Before salvation, can any conditioned soul be infinite? No. If you say ‘yes’, then it will
 clash with sruti and sutra. When you say that soul, before salvation, is also infinite consciousness, then, it means that it is divine in absolute in all respects. As you know, every question can be answered in two different plains. One is vyavaharika and other paramarthika. With reference to paramathika, every thing can be negated, like by saying that nothing is existing apart from divine, or no world exists except divine etc. But, since we all are not yet at the highest level, we also need deal many things, in vyavaharika point of level. The references you quoted talk from absolute point of view. Now, to the question ‘under what context?’ asked in your posting, the answer is that the sruti talks about jivatmas on the path of salvation. Please check Br. Up. 6.2.15 (sri Shankara bhasyam, trans. By swami madhavananda), where it describes, “ 
 and conducts ‘them’ to the world of Hiranyagarbha. The term,‘them’ here denotes the jivatmas. It further says, “They attain 
” Again
 the term, ‘they’ denote the jivatmas. Doesn’t it show the clear cut acceptance by sri Shankara for multiple existence of jivatmas? You may, ‘well not in absolute sense’ It does not matter. After all, we all travel from vyavahariaka level to paramartika level ultimately. You are denying at once the existence of jivatmas even in vyavaharika level also.     
  End of quote: 
  Ps: If my memory is correct, I haven’t got any response from you for it.
  Presently, you have said that:
  “By ascribing the *reality* to merging process, you are implying that 
  are multiple jIva-s which one after another as an individual self 
  themselves with the absolute secondless brahman that too after the
  *physical* death of these *selves*!! “ 
  Badisa: Prabhu ji! Mundaka Up. 2.1.1 says origination of multiple forms from divine. What do you say to it?

“if we uphold the reality of jIvatva as an individual soul, its

bondage due to avidya & its subsequent release after dawn of ultimate

knowledge & finaly its identification/mergence  are all pAramArthically

real, then this process limits the parabrahma tattva 


this socalled jIva reaches/merges with parabrahman, this parabrahman or

absolute secondless reality  will be short of those jIva-s & will be

awaiting for those jIva-s to come & identify with him/itself to make

himself *pUrNa* :-)). This is not in line with advaita's yEkAtma 

  Badisa: Jivatma is not a separate entity, but is a form of divine. It is originated from divine, and so, it is divine in essence. Mundaka up. clearly says that all sparks originate from fire, and on the same lines it says that all forms originate from divine. So long as they are bonded in karma, all forms come again and again in to samsar. Can you say each spark in the above reference is a separate entity? They are not separate entities, but they are identical forms of the same fire. See, a fire is not different from the spark. When a spark is originated from the fire, then why don’t you think that all sparks eventually would merge into the fire? After-all, fire is the source of origin. 
  Merging should not be analyzed the way you have understood that divine will be short of jivatmas, and thus he would be ‘asampoorna’. This is wrong assumption. See in the above Mundaka reference, can you say that fire has reduced to small size once the sparks were originated from it? Or do you say that the size of fire will increase once the sparks merge in the fire? Please think over it.
  I will give another reference for better understanding. See, the liberated soul at BL can take multiple forms at the same time (BS 4.4.15). Now, can you argue that since multiple forms are achieved, the liberated soul size is decreased? As per your above answer, it should be. But my answer is that it cannot be. Similarly, when all multiple forms are merged, do you claim the size of liberated soul would increase? My answer is no. In that case, where is the question of ‘asampoorna’, and how do you ascribe it to divine? See, the santhi mantra for Ishavasya Up. “ Purna madah 
..” It says It is full at all the times. So, the bottom line is that you have understood “merging” in the wrong sense. Sorry to say so. You have to accept the existence of ‘multiple forms’ on sruti pramana. You may call these multiple forms as souls or jivatmas etc names.  Sri Shankara, while commenting on Br. Up. 6.2.15 (sri Shankara bhasyam, trans. By swami madhavananda), contended clearly that, “ 

 and conducts ‘them’ to the world of Hiranyagarbha. The term,‘them’ here signifies a lot. It indicates to the jivatmas or souls. Sri Shankara further continues saying, “They attain 
” Again the term, ‘they’ is very significant here. This term indicates to the jivatmas or souls. This is a clear proof that sri Shankara accepted the existence of multiple forms. My question is that where all these forms came in to being? Mundaka clearly answers this question by saying that from the divine. When bondage exists, then all forms will originate from divine. In the absence of bondage, they are said to be merged in divine without any distinction. Because all forms are his only. Once out of this samsaric loop, all forms will go back to the source. This is called merging. Prior to merging, it is only the stage of realization. In a general sense, self-realization is said to be salvation by our Acharya. Because, there is no coming back in to the samsar, after realization. But technically,
 there is a clear distinction between self-realization and salvation. Assuming that both these are one and the same would lead in to clash with many slokas of Bhagawad Gita, like 5/5 (please vide last posting) and Brahma sutras.  Even though sri Shankara said that self-realization is nothing but salvation in a general sense, but on the technical point of view, he accepted the merging, as evidenced by his commentary to Gita sloka 9/28. The same thing is also evidenced with sutra 4.3.10, where merging (in nirgun brahma) of saguna Brahman and the liberated souls is mentioned. If self-realization itself is called the salvation in technical sense, then there is no necessary for merging at pralaya. 

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