[Advaita-l] Fwd: Ishvara in advaita vEdAnta

Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy annapureddy at gmail.com
Wed Nov 29 00:03:08 CST 2006

Resending just in case the mail was lost. Apologies if you receive the mail

praNAm.h All,
      Apologies for the delay in responding to the email. Please see below:

praNAm.h shrI Krunal and shrI Viswanathan,

 Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy <annapureddy_at_gmail.com> wrote:> > > --
> First objection: There could not be remnant karma for Ishvara like in the> >
> > case of a jIvanmukta.Why does this entity Ishvara not want to merge
> with> > > nirguNa brahma?
> I take amuthanji's comment on this that Ishwar does not really exist, only
> due to our 'drshya' he exists but if there is no 'drshya' there is no
> Ishvara. So Ishvara does not want to merge with nirgUna brahman because
> Ishvara does not really exist (in supreme reality). Krsna explains in the BG
> that even though he carries out karma, karma does not bind him, hence karma
> does not effect him.

How can someone merge with something that is only existing in their
> dr^ishti? so the only thing you ever 'merge' with is nirguNa brahman but
> strictly speaking we never actually merge.

>From the above two comments, it seems like you are taking the
dR^iShTi-shR^iShTi viewpoint.  I am not very familiar with the details of
this theory. But assuming that this theory implies that all duality is only
an imagination of the Eka jIva which itself exists only due to avidyA
(something similar to the yOgAchAra Buddhist theory), this totally reduces
the status of Ishvara to an imaginary entity. In any case, let me stick to
the shR^iShTi-dR^iShTi viewpoint within which I was discussing this question
with shrI Amuthan.

praNAm.h shrI Amuthan,
       Thanks a bunch for digging up the quotes.

> 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...')

vEda is an inanimate entity. The idea is that there is no state that a jIva
can achieve which can give it complete happiness in the vyAvahArika world
(svarga, satya lOka etc.). And the contention is that since Ishvara is
always blissful, Ishvaratva becomes a parallel goal. But in any case, since
anumAna is strictly subject to shabda in such atIndriya matters, let's stick
to shabda pramANa. And the pramANa that I am referring to is BSB
4.3.10which says that even the conditioned brahma attains nirguNa
brahma at the
time of praLaya (unlike your claim).

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.

It is well known that shaN^kara used theistic terms for nirguNa brahma (like
the one you pointed out, tad.h viShNOH paramaM padaM etc.) And actually,
there is nothing to prevent the above from being interpreted as referring to
the nirguNa brahma. For example, when shrI kR^iShNa says ahaM, it's usually
interpreted as referring to the AtmA. So also when indra teaches "Know me
alone" in the kaushItaki upaniShat.h.

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?

As I pointed out above, this raises some needless questions based on

> 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.)

As you probably know, quotes/paragraphs can be interpreted in several
different ways (which is why we have at least three variants of vEdAnta in
the first place), and the question is how to understand such quotes in the
light of the commentaries and the tradition.

In any case, I was reading the "Dialogues with the Guru" (which is a
compilation of dialogues with shrI chandrashEkhara bhArati), and he defines
Ishvara to be nirguNa brahma when conceived of as the lord of the
vyAvahArika world. Please refer to the dialogue on "The Sandhya Worship". In
case you do not have a copy, I could type up the relevant portion, and maybe
we could discuss after that.



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