[Advaita-l] Re: Ishvara in advaita vEdAnta

Anbu sivam2 anbesivam2 at gmail.com
Wed Nov 22 18:20:32 CST 2006

You have said: "how do we know vyAsa was omniscient?"  I don't know how far
you would accept my answer.
I know it and Vyasa told me too!

Hope this satisfies you.

On 11/22/06, Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy <annapureddy at gmail.com> wrote:
> praNAm.h shrI Amuthan,
> what is the pramANa that you are looking for? it cannot be pratyakSha
> > or anumAna since there is no possible way to prove the existence of
> > Ishvara by using them, let alone proving that rAma or kRShNa is
> > Ishvara.
> Yes, I agree pratyakSha and anumAna are not conclusive in this regard. So,
> let's leave them aside.
> it cannot be shruti pramANa either since shruti's prAmANya
> > itself is based on faith. in other words, even quotes from vedAs that
> > rAma or kRShNa is Ishvara do not provide a better solution than
> > acceptance of the same by faith.
> I agree again that there is an element of faith in claiming the
> apaurushEyatva
> of the vEda. But I am asking the question from the point of view of
> vEdAnta,
> and
> not as a nAstika.
> does the bhagavadgItA lose it's prAmANya just because it is found in
> > the mahAbhArata which is pauruSheya? accepting the prAmANya of shruti
> > because it is apauruSheya and rejecting at the same time all smRti-s
> > (which do not contradict shruti) as apramANa because they are
> > pauruSheya and hence require faith for accepting what they say doesn't
> > really make any sense.
> I am not rejecting the pramANatva of bhagavad.h gIta etc. They are pramANa
> as smR^iti since they are in line with the vEda. The question is about the
> omniscience of the authors of these smR^itis. As I pointed out, how can a
> person
> B know person A is omniscient. B can at best know that A knows more than
> him/her. But knowing that A is indeed omniscient would require B to be
> omniscient in the first place. And the mImAmsaka argument against the
> Buddhists
> hinges on denying the omniscience of the budhda (apart from other things).
> And
> shaN^kara himself, for example, denies the sAMkhya claim regarding the
> omniscience of kapila.
> You seem to claim that the apaurushEyatva of the vEda and the Ishvaratva
> of
> shrI rAma
> etc. are both equally articles of faith. This is not true for a vEdAntin
> (at
> least I
> do not see how at this point). The vEdAntin accepts a certain proof for
> the
> apaurushEyatva of the vEda. And this proof involves denying the
> omniscience/Ishvaratva of any being.  Thus, the corollary is that shrI
> rAma
> etc.
> might not be Ishvara in reality (at any rate, there is no way to determine
> that).
> Thus, a vEdAntin could say that he accepts shrI rAma as Ishvara as a
> matter
> of faith (as opposed to the apaurushEyatva of the vEda which is a matter
> of
> "Truth"
> for him). Or he could modify the mImAmsaka proof to accomodate this case,
> and I
> am wondering if this has been done by the tradition.
> the mImAmsaka's argument misses the possibility of Ishvara
> > sAkShAtkAra. (Ishvara sAkShAtkAra is accepted by the shruti-s; 'sadA
> > pashyanti sUrayaH', 'tasmin dRShTe parAvare' etc.) maharShi-s like
> > vyAsa and valmIki are indeed omniscient and their words are definitely
> > accepted as pramANa.
> The question that arises is, how do we know vyAsa was omniscient? For
> example,
> as I mentioned earlier, kumArila bhaTTA asks the Buddhists how they knew
> that the
> budhda was omniscient. And so also with shaN^kara regarding kapila.
> that is also accepted though that is not the only form. Ishvara is
> > accepted as both sarUpa and arUpa. see for instance shruti-s like
> > 'sahasrashIrShaM devaM', 'hrIshcha te lakShmIshcha patnyau', 'yA te
> > rudra shivA tanUH..' etc. which speak of the sarUpa aspect of Ishvara
> > and shruti-s like 'apANipAdo javano grahItA pashaytachakShuH...' which
> > speak of the arUpa aspect of Ishvara.
> >
> > There is saguNa brahma where forms are deliberately superimposed on the
> nirguNa brahma according to the injunctions of the vEda for purposes of
> meditation. Let's put this case aside.
> Here are some problems I find with Ishvara being conceived of as shrI
> mahAviShNu in vaikunTha:
> -- The analogy of a magician and his illusion is given to explain the
> notion
> of Ishvara
> and mAyA. Thus, Ishvara Himself is outside the mAyA which corresponds to
> the
> world of vyAvahAra. But, by definition, vaikunTha is a place and shrI
> mahAviShNu
> is an entity in the vyAvahArika world and this analogy breaks down.
> -- We could say that Ishvara is an entity within the mAyA which has
> complete
> control over all the aspects of mAyA, for example shrI mahAviShNu in
> vaikunTha.
> But the fact is that this Ishvara depends on the nirguNa brahma for His
> very
> existence,
> and is not independent. Thus, this definition of Ishvara does not seem to
> be
> valid.
> -- And even if we accept the above definition, by attributing all the
> auspicious qualities
> to shrI mahAviShNu, there arises the question of whether this entity stays
> eternally in
> the vyAvahArika world.
>        If He stays eternally, is this not a contradiction to the fact that
> only nirguNa brahma
> is eternal? In other words, the status of being Ishvara becomes a parallel
> reality to
> nirguNa brahma, i.e., people might as well try to become Ishvara rather
> than
> merge
> with nirguNa brahma.
> -- If, on the other hand, Ishvara Himself attains the supreme nirguNa
> brahma
> at the
> time of praLaya (as suggested by BSB IV.iii.10 according to svAmi
> Gambhiranandaji's translation. The word used here is hiraNyagarbha. In
> other
> words, I am considering
> the definition of Ishvara to be hiraNyagarbha in this bullet point), then
> there arises the
> possibility of multiple Ishvaras during the multiple cycles of the world.
> This contradicts
> the vEda which says that there is only one Ishvara.
> Thus, considering all these cases, it seems that the term Ishvara can
> properly only be applied
> when referring to the nirguNa brahma in the vyAvahArika world. Of course,
> please let me know if there are other possibilities that I might have
> missed.
> praNAmamulu shrI Viswanathan gAru,
>         Thanks for your comments. I am trying to find out the traditional
> position on these issues.
> A.Siddhartha.
> >
> > From: Viswanathan N <vishy1962 at yahoo.com>
> >
>   You are very correct and valid in raising these  points. These are the
> > questions that raise in any rational mind. But unfortunately , we try to
> > stub them or beat arround the bush instead of addressing them directly.
> > Certainly I am not a scholor or quote from scriptures to support my
> views.
> > But as person who had studied a bit and understood the advaita vedanta,
> in
> > spirit, I wish to submit my views:
> >
> >
> >    "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."
> >
> >   I certainly can' t quote anything, but going by the spirit of Advaita
> ,
> > This could be and only be right way of looking at the trurth.
> >
> >    " Thus, Ishvara is not like a shrI mahAviShNu in vaikunTha (or shrI
> > sadAshiva in kailAsa)."
> >
> >   Sure ,its for  common folk's    visualisation of the "Brahman" ( how
> > formless, beginningless/endless, birthless/deathless,
> omnipresent/omniscient
> > could be in vaikuntam or kailasam ) to suit their
> capacity/liking/knowledge/
> > imagination
> >
> >
> >   " 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"
> >
> >   Ofcourse, these are the cases of maifestation of Brahman in certain
> form
> > to establish the Balance (Dharma) in vyAvahAraic world and certain
> > manifestaions are glorified bit more to drive the moral values. But
> > why  stop only with Rama or Krishna...could include Christ or Buddha
> > even.....
> >
> >   In that way if you look  "You are and I am too are That" Isnt it!
> >
> >
> >   Pl bear with me and pardon me if I have hurt anyone i this pocess
> >
> >   Pranams
> >
> >   Viswanathan
> >
> >
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