[Advaita-l] ISvara

Mahesh Ursekar mahesh.ursekar at gmail.com
Fri Jul 28 10:25:03 CDT 2006

Many thanks Sastriji and Bhaskarji for taking time to reply to my queries.
While I understand your viewpoints (I hope), I still continue to feel a
little dissatisfied with the definition of Iswara as provided in the
Pancadasi. Maybe further contemplation and study might help.

Thanks, Mahesh

On 7/28/06, S.N. Sastri <sn.sastri at gmail.com> wrote:
> Mahesh Ursekar wrote:
> Wasn't Krishna as Saguna Brahman "born" at a given point in time? I put
> the
> word born in quotes since He chose to "wield his power"  and take birth
> out
> of Devaki's womb. But does this mean that Krishna, Shiva, etc. exist as
> Iswara and chose to act in certain ways? Is Iswara then one or many? And
> it
> is still confounding for me to understand how they came to "exist" in the
> first place.
> Lastly, I would like to revert back to my original point on omniscience.
> As
> per what you said, Iswara is omniscience as per Vedanta. Buddha was
> considered the same. So was Mahavira. So was the kaivalya mukta of
> Samkhya.
> If so, how is it that they differred in their view of reality? It this
> claim
> justifiable?
> --
> Brahman is pure consciousness and without any attributes or activity. When
> this nirguNa brahman is associated with mAyA which is composed of the
> three
> guNas,  it is known as saguNa brahman. This is the same as ISvara or
> bhagavAn. Krishna himself says in GitA 4.6, "Though I am birthless, never
> subject to any change, and the Lord of all beings, I appear as an embodied
> being. ISvara is only one. He takes on many forms as in the various
> incarnations. But he has no birth or death. He appears by the power of his
> mAyA as he says in gita 4.6. ISvara is not deluded by mAyA which is his
> own
> power and so even when he takes a body he is always aware that he is
> brahman. In contrast, jIvas are deluded by mAya and so they identify
> themselves with their body, mind and senses. The jIvas are born in
> accordance with their karma, but ISvara incarnates of his own free will.
> Gita 4.5 shows that while the knowledge of the jIva is limited, there is
> no
> limit to Isvara's knowledge even when he has taken a human form as in the
> Krishna incarnation. Sri Sankara says, in his introduction to his
> gItabhAshya, "The Lord, ever endowed with knowledge, sovereignty, power,
> strength, valour, and splendour, appears, by using his power of mAyA, as
> if
> born, and as if having a body, in order to protect the world. Thus ISvara
> is
> eternal and apears in various forms from time to time. When he incarnates
> we
> call it a birth and celebrate that day as his birthday.
>    Your second question is why Buddha and others differ in their view of
> reality. Sankara, Ramanuja and Madhva were all very erudite and mighty
> intellects. Each of them has interpreted the upanishads and brahmasutras
> in
> different ways. Their experiences and their point of view may differ. The
> same thing applies to Buddha and others.
> S.N.Sastri
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