[Advaita-l] Re: Ishvara in advaita vEdAnta

Amuthan aparyap at gmail.com
Sun Nov 26 01:46:13 CST 2006

namo nArAyaNAya!

dear shrI siddhArtha,

On 11/25/06, Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy <annapureddy_at_gmail.com> wrote:
> I agree with all but the last of the statements in the above paragraph (as
> we discussed earlier). Could you please provide me a scriptural quote for
> the "They exist eternally" part? Thanks.

one can find ample quotes from the smRtIs. i list two such here,

brahmaNaH sadanAdUrdhvaM tadviShNoH paramaM padam.
shuddhaM *sanAtanaM* jyotiH paraM brahmeti tadviduH.. (M.Bh. vana parva 217.37)

saMkShipya cha purA lokAnmAyayA svayameva hi.
mahArNave shayAno.apsu mAM tvaM pUrvamajIjanaH.. (rA.7.104.4)
(brahma tells this to rAma)

(i do agree that the first quote can be interpreted purely with
reference to nirguNa brahman, but nothing prevents it from being
interpreted purely with reference to saguNa brahman either.)

On 11/25/06, Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy <annapureddy_at_gmail.com> wrote:
> Another example of eternality is the vEda. I am not sure about time because
> it's not an entity. It's a convention for the ordering of events. In any
> case, let me focus on the question of an eternal Ishvara within the
> vyAvahArika world.
> ......
> The brahma sUtra 4.3.10 that I mentioned earlier refers to kramamukti. But
> there it's mentioned (at least in svAmi Gambhiranandaji's translation) that
> hiraNyagarbha who is the lord of that world Himself attains nirguNa brahma
> along with the other liberated jIvas residing there at the time of praLaya.
> So, there is no mention of an eternal Ishvara there.

if you accept that the vedAs have eternal vyAvahArika sattA, what
prevents you from accepting the eternal existence of he whose 'breath'
the veda is ('yasya niHsvasitaM vedAH', '...  are.asya mahato bhUtasya
niHsvasitametadyadRgvedo yajurvedaH...')

the eternality of Ishvara is known from shrutIs like 'nityo nityAnAM
chetanashchetanAnAm eko bahUnAM yo vidadhAti kAmAn' (shve.up.6.13),
'yo brahmANaM vidadhAti pUrvaM yo vai vedAMshcha prahiNoti tasmai'
(shve.up.6.18) etc.

during pralaya, the vedAs do not exist in the form we see now. they
remain in their avyAkRta form in Ishvara alone. similarly, the various
lokAs and forms, even if withdrawn during pralaya, remain in their
avyAkRta form. but Ishvara does not get destroyed during pralaya since
there is no destruction to the mAyA shakti of brahman (please see the
end of them mail for more details). that the same Ishvara manifests
them during the next creation is known from Rks like 'yathA

regarding time, it is indeed eternal. for instance, the following
smRti talks of the fact that both kAla and Ishvara do not get
destroyed during pralaya,

anAdirbhagvAnkAlo nAnto.asya dvija vidyate.
avyuchChinnAstatastvete sargasthityantasaMyamAH' (vi.pu.1.2.26)

and kAla is not separate from Ishvara as kRShNa clarifies in the gItA
'kAlo.smi lokakShayakRt' (bh.gItA.11.32)

On 11/25/06, Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy <annapureddy_at_gmail.com> wrote:
> I am not sure what you mean. You are mixing up two analogies -- one, avidyA
> as giving rise to the notion of jIva and Ishvara, and the other Ishvara
> wielding the mAyA as a shakti. The usage of Ishvara as wielding mAyA
> suggests that it refers to nirguNa brahma (the above magician analogy). And
> if you want to use the first analogy, my "first objection" above still
> stands.

what i meant is this: Ishvara has no avidyA. there is nothing like
Ishvara not wanting to merge with brahman since that will happen only
if Ishvara has avidyA. that Ishvara is eternal and free from any
avidyA is too well known. just for the sake of completion, let me
state it in AchArya's own words (bh.gItA introduction). 'sa cha
bhagavAn... ajaH avyayaH bhUtAnAmIshvaraH
nityashuddhabuddhamuktasvabhAvaH api san svamAyayA dehavAniva
jAtaH...'. here, the reference is not to nirguNa brahman, but to
saguNa brahman.

i don't understand what exactly is your problem accepting the
eternality of Ishvara or his forms or lokAs. none of this affects the
nirguNatva of brahman since names, forms and lokAs all have a
vyAvahArika sattA only. is it difficult to understand how a
sarvashakta can sport an eternal form? Ishvara's assuming names and
forms is not due to some karma, as kRShNa clarifies in the gItA
'janmakarma cha me divyaM', 'ajo.api sannavyayAtmA bhUtAnAmIshvaro.api
san. prakRtiM svAmadhiShThAya sambhavAmyAtmamAyayA..' etc.

even during pralaya, it cannot be said that Ishvara is non-existent
since there is no destruction of the mAyA shakti of brahman. thus,
Ishvara alone exists during pralaya. that this mAyA shakti is
non-different from brahman is best stated in AchArya's own words, '...
svAtmavilakShaNayornAmarUpayoH... sadbhAvamAtreNAchintyashaktitvAt
vyAkartAvyakRtayoH.' (up. sA.). this is also known from smRtIs like

nityaivaiSha jaganmAtA viShNoH shrIranapAyinI.
yathA sarvagato viShNustathaiveyaM dvijottama.. (vi.pu.1.8.17)

(btw, the above smRti can also be interpreted to show the eternality
of shrI mahAviShNu.)

to sum up, Ishvara exists; Ishvara always exists; Ishvara is eternally
free and pure; Ishvara is both with and without forms and is
non-different from brahman.

dear shrI Krunal Makwana,

On 11/26/06, Krunal Makwana <krunalmakwana_at_hotmail.com> wrote:
> I take amuthanji's comment on this that Ishwar does not really exist...

just to clarify, Ishvara does really exist as brahman. i've provided
the reasons and references  above. alternatively, if you assert that
Ishvara does not really exist, an equally true statement is that we
also do not exist in reality.

vAsudevaH sarvaM,

p.s.: i haven't translated the references to keep the mail short. i
hope there won't be many problem finding their meaning since all the
references i have quoted have online english translations.

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