[Advaita-l] Re: Ishvara in advaita vEdAnta

Amuthan aparyap at gmail.com
Thu Nov 23 03:00:26 CST 2006

namo nArAyaNAya!

dear shrI siddhArtha,

this is a reply to the second half of your mail dealing with Ishvara
within advaita vedAnta. before examining your reply, let me define
what is meant by the word 'Ishvara' to avoid any possible confusion:

define Ishvara as dRShyakAraNa ('source of what is seen'). that such a
source exists is known from shruti-s like 'sadeva soumya idamagra
AsIt'. that this source cannot be other than brahman is clear from the
word 'eva' in the above shruti.

(this definition is from the vyaShTi standpoint. from the samaShTi
viewpoint, Ishvara may be defined as jagadkAraNa. i'll stick on to the
'dRShyakAraNa' definition.)

On 11/23/06, Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy <annapureddy at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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.

yes, brahman seen as the source of vyavahAra is Ishvara.
let me make a few observations on what you had written earlier,

On 11/23/06, Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy <annapureddy at gmail.com> wrote:
> But the fact is that this Ishvara depends on the nirguNa brahma for His very
> existence,
> and is not independent.

since nirguNa brahman itself is called Ishvara when viewed as dRShya
kAraNa, the correct way to state the above would be as follows:
'Ishvara exists, but His Ishvaratva is dependent on the existence of a
dRShya. if no dRShya exists, Ishvara remains as nirguNa brahman'.

On 11/23/06, Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy <annapureddy at gmail.com> wrote:
>        If He stays eternally, is this not a contradiction to the fact that
> only nirguNa brahma
> is eternal?

in the first place, there is no meaning to statements like 'nirguNa
brahman is eternal'. for to assert that, you have to assume the
simultaneous existence of time and nirguNa brahman. but such is not
the case. the correct statement is: 'nirguNa brahman is neither
eternal nor non-eternal nor capable of being characterized by time in
any way'. on the other hand, since 'time' is a dRShya, the moment the
existence of time is accepted, it makes sense to say that Ishvara
(brahman viewed as the source of 'time') is 'eternal'. it follows that
Ishvara cannot be non-eternal.

On 11/23/06, Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy <annapureddy at gmail.com> wrote:
> > 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.

while it is true that a particular form is deliberately superimposed
on brahman for the purpose of upAsanA, it is also true that certain
forms and lokAs exist independent of our upAsanA, i.e. their existence
is not a mere fanciful imagination as some think. (i think ramaNa
maharShi also pointed this out. maybe someone can provide the exact
reference.) even accepting the eternal existence of such lokAs or
forms does not affect brahman since 'eternal' existence is itself a
notion within mAyA.

On 11/23/06, Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy <annapureddy at gmail.com> wrote:
> -- 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.

suppose that a man A has two children B and C. is the father of B
different from the father of C? similarly Ishvara is the same though
two different sRShTi-s may be different.

vAsudevaH sarvaM,

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