[Advaita-l] self-realization/salvation

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Sun Jul 23 23:12:29 CDT 2006

On Wed, 19 Jul 2006, ramesh badisa wrote:

> Badisa: Your above answer indicates the existence of two, Ishwara, and 
> liberated soul(s) at BL. When you contend that realization itself is 
> nothing but salvation,

Please let us use the correct terminology: jnana and mukti.  The 
English words realization and salvation have connotations which may obscure 
already difficult concepts.

  then, how can you justify as per sri Shankara’s 
> advaita teachings about the existence of two, that is, Ishwara, and 
> self-realized soul in the state of salvation? It seems to me that you 
> also agreed that self realization is not salvation.

As with many Vedantic concepts, it is a matter of perspective.  The 
Krama mukti is the result of jnana where Ishvara or saguna Brahman is the 
object.  By placing limits on Brahman the jiva is also placing limits on 
his jnana.  Concepts such as time (pralaya) and space (Brahmaloka) still 

Jivanmukti on the other hand is result of jnana where Nirguna Brahman is 
the object.  Because all concepts are annhilated it appears to be 
immediate and instantaneous.

> Moreover, as per Bhagawad Gita (BG) 5/5, the final result for either 
> ways is the same. For example, after the death, the soul of Jeevan mukta 
> merges in nirgun Brahman (NB) and becomes one with it without any 
> distinction. However, in case of liberated soul at BL before pralaya, no 
> such merging has taken place. In that case, how come the assurance of 
> Lord Krishna in 5/5 be valid. He said to have the same final result. The 
> soul of JM merged in NB, but the liberated soul is still at BL. Due to 
> this difference (which lasts only up to the point of pralaya), the final 
> result cannot be the same. Thus, the self-realization cannot be equal to 
> salvation. In order to have the same final result, the liberated soul at 
> BL should also merge in NB (which happens at pralaya), like in the case 
> of JM, and then only the assurance of the same final result of Lord 
> Krishna is valid. Since this is not the case with liberated soul at BL, 
> his self-realization is not termed as salvation.

Is it justified to call a student who has completed his last courses but 
not received his diploma a graduate?  From his perspective he is.  There 
is nothing more to be done.  But an employer for instance, might want to 
wait until he actually sees the piece of paper before e.g. offering a job.

from the point of view of the kramamukta, he _is_ liberated.  Remember the 
brahmasutra says "There is no return"  The cycle of rebirth is over. 
There is no force that can bring him back to samsara.

Aside: it should also be apparent from this account that Brahmaloka is 
not the same as svarga (heaven) from which it is possible to fall.

>From the point of view of someone in the vyavaharic state there may seem 
to be a gap of time or space between jnana and mukti.

> Badisa: It was known for a while that existence of multiple Ishwaras 
> would lead clash in the process of creation etc activities. It means 
> that if the liberated soul at BL is given the powers of creation etc., 
> then it would to clash with Ishwara. If this explanation is true, then 
> doesn’t it show the existence of gunas on the part of self-realized 
> liberated soul at BL?


> Here, can you say that, “well! Ishwara himself has 
> gunas, and in that case what would be wrong to say that the liberated 
> soul at BL would also have gunas”. In the first place I do not believe 
> that liberated soul will have any gunas.

Then why would he see gunas in Ishvara which he supposedly identifies 

>  Then in that case, I do not see 
> any reason why there would be any clash between Ishwara and liberated 
> soul at BL for creation etc activities. Being without gunas, this soul, 
> if it has the capacity, still choose not to participate in the process 
> of creation etc. Then there would be no clash at all. But sutra 4.4.17 
> clearly says that it does not have the powers of creation etc. Your 
> understanding that ‘clash would occur’ is not correct. Because, it is 
> not fitting with gunas of Ishwara and no gunas of liberated soul. The 
> right way of applying this sutra is that lack of powers of creation etc 
> means that the liberated soul hasn’t yet achieved salvation while at BL 
> in spite of its self-realization. It means that self-realization is not 
> equal to salvation. Merging at the time of pralaya is salvation, where 
> Gita 5/5 holds true.

No this doesn't make sense.  Acheiving mukti cannot be the qualification 
for being able to create, because it is by definition the trancendence of 
concepts such as creation, destruction etc.
> Badisa: This reference does not talk or imply about unlimited powers for 
> realized soul. Can you please explain how did you come to this 
> conclusion?

This is the purvapaksha argument.  The passage speaks of being the lord of 
the mind, the lord of speech etc.  It is the siddhanta that this, as you 
say, does not imply unlimited powers.

> Badisa: It is well known to all of us that Ishwara is the cause of 
> creation, sustenance and dissolving of the universe. When the self 
> realized soul at BL have limited powers, then it is clear that it is not 
> even equal to Ishwara. In that case, how come self-realization be termed 
> as salvation?

Because as I said, mukti is liberation from samsara.

> Also how come attainment of Ishwara, who is not in the 
> highest state, be called salvation? In the state of salvation no 
> limitations are applicable. If this is understood, then the lack of 
> powers on the part of realized soul implies that it hasn’t yet achieved 
> the salvation.

Mukti is orthogonal to "powers"  Such "powers" imply the existence and 
acceptence of samsara.  A mukta is one who has transcended such concepts.

> Badisa: Why only at the level of creation? He can as well have the power 
> of controlling also. In that case, where is the objection? And how can 
> you say that he could get wrapped in samsara? Can you say Ishwara, who 
> creates, maintains and dissolves the universe is wrapped in samsara? 
> Please think over it.

Again, the siddhanta is not making this argument, the purvapaksha is. 
Ishvara has the power to enter and leave samsara because he is the 
producer of that system.  The jivas cannot because they are products of 
that system.

Lets assume somehow I was able to steal your identity and credit cards. 
If "Ramesh Badisa" has a credit limit of 1 million dollars on his 
Mastercard then I as "Ramesh Badisa" cannot spend 2 million dollars right? 
However if I could assume the identity of the credit card company I could 
raise the limit to  10 million or 20 million or whatever I wanted.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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