[Advaita-l] Re:

Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy annapureddy at gmail.com
Tue Jul 25 23:38:59 CDT 2006

Namaste Maheshji,
         The term Isvara could be understood in several ways. In the
tattva bOdha (attributed to shaN^karAchArya), Isvara is defined as the
combination of the brahma (sAkShI, the Witness) + mAyA (which is
defined as triguNAtmika), while the jIva is defined as brahma + avidya
(which is again triguNAtmika). The difference between them though is
that in Isvara, the sattva is unaffected by rajas.h and tamas.h, while
in the case of jIva, the sattva is under the control of the other two
guNas. This is the definition you were referring to.
         Another definition (found in works like the dR^ik.h dR^ishya
vivEka attributed to svAmi bhArati tIrtha/svAmi vidyAraNya) for mAyA
is that it's the power of brahma which has the properties of vikShEpa
(projection) and AvR^iti (covering up). Thus, mAyA is "BY DEFINITION"
a power. And brahma when viewed with this attribute of having mAyA as
a power is called Isvara.
        I am presuming the difference in the definitions has to do
with the ontological vs. epistemological approaches taken by the
bhAmati and vivaraNa schools respectively, though I am not fully sure.
Hopefully others can shed light on this.

Hari Om.


> Pranams Sastriji:
> I would like some clarification of Iswara viz a viz Maya. I looked up your
> terms and concepts section on the definition of Iswara but cannot seem to
> reconcile the two. In definition of Panchadasi, it is mentioned that:
> "Iswara controls maayaa and is the antaryaamii or Inner Controller of all
> beings."
> How can Iswara control maya? Maya is a manifestation of Brahman. It is often
> said the relation of Brahman to Maya is like that of fire to its heat. In
> the order of creation as per Samkhya (which Sanakra is not opposed to in
> particular), Iswara does not feature. In the order of creation as per
> Avyakta -> Hiranyagarba -> Virat, Iswara does not feature. So, how does one
> reconcile the presence of Iswara or Saguna Brahman with the description
> of creation? I think Swami Lokeswarananda's (Ramakrishna Math) observation
> is that Iswara *is* Maya is the only one that makes logical sense. It makes
> it easier to explain the statement made by Sri Krishna in Ch4.7 of the
> Gita viz. "yada yada hi dharmasya..."  because the assumption that Brahman
> manifests itself would not make sense. Your comments would be most helpful.
> Thanks again for your patience, Mahesh

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list