[Advaita-l] Ishvara in advaita vEdAnta

Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy annapureddy at gmail.com
Tue Nov 21 23:47:59 CST 2006

praNAm.h All,
        I have a few questions on the notion of Ishvara in advaita vEdAnta.
Could the members of this list please clarify these issues. Thanks.

-- In the pUrva mImAmsa argument for the apaurushEyatva of the vEda, the
pUrvapakSha of any given person being omniscient is refuted. The argument is
essentially that there is no way to determine someone is omniscient, unless
one is already so. While this works well for the pUrva mImAmsakas who did
not believe in an Ishvara, there arise certain problems for vEdAnta. For
example, the same argument can be applied against shrI rAma or shrI
kR^iShNa. Thus, it seems that the Ishvaratva of shrI rAma or shrI kR^iShNa
is based on common acceptance/faith rather than on the pramANas (Please note
that "pramANas" like the rAmAyaNa and the mahAbhArata are authored by people
whose omniscience (or capability of judging omniscience) itself is under
question here.) What is the traditional view on this issue?

-- What is the nature of Ishvara in advaita vEdAnta? This is my
understanding, please let me know if it's correct. It is the same nirguNa
brahma that in vyAvahArika parlance is called Ishvara. Thus, Ishvara is not
like a shrI mahAviShNu in vaikunTha (or shrI sadAshiva in kailAsa). But the
rules of vyAvahAra (as set forward by the vEda) also mean that omniscient
and omnipotent persons (like shrI rAma or shrI kR^iShNa) take their birth on
Earth every now and then, for example, when dharma is degenerating (BG 4.7).

Or is the notion of Ishvara like shrI mahAviShNu in vaikunTha?



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