[Advaita-l] Re: Ishvara in advaita vEdAnta

Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy annapureddy at gmail.com
Thu Nov 23 20:05:19 CST 2006

praNAm.h shrI Amuthan,

> 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.

Any vEdAntin has to accept the existence of other lOkas, for it's an
integral part of the theory of karma. Thus, I am not contesting that.

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.

Let's take just this one case into consideration. Your claim is that there
could exist 'eternal' lOkas, as eternality itself is a notion within mAyA;
in other words, there could exist someone like a shrI mahAviShNu in
vaikunTha. My objections are as follows:
-- The analogy of the magician and his illusion fails (as I mentioned in my
earlier mail. Of course, this by itself is not a strong reason, but it does
suggest that Ishvara ought to refer to the nirguNa brahma and not an entity
within the vyAvahArika world.)
-- Nothing in the vyAvahArika world could be nitya, which is why one should
strive for attaining nirguNa brahma. But this entity called Ishvara violates
the rule. This raises two questions:
-- First objection: Why does this entity Ishvara not want to merge with
nirguNa brahma? There could not be remnant karma for Ishvara like in the
case of a jIvanmukta.
-- Second objection: This Ishvaratva becomes a parallel goal along with
nirguNa brahma. For example, one can try to attain Ishvaratva or merger with
shrI mahAviShNu, rather than merger with nirguNa brahma. If one has the
capability to attain nirguNa brahma, what prevents one from attaining
Ishvaratva? What advantage is there in attaining nirguNa brahma, rather than
Ishvaratva? Even if we assume that one does not have the capability of
merging with Ishvara in the above sense, the first objection still stands.

The above tarka might not be in line with the vEda, but the objections seem
very plausible. In case the tarka is not in line, could you maybe point out
some statement from shaN^kara which says that there is an eternal entity
within the vyAvahArika world, because BSB 4.3.10 seems to dismiss that
possibility. Thanks.


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