[Advaita-l] Re: Ishvara in advaita vEdAnta

Amuthan aparyap at gmail.com
Thu Nov 30 04:25:13 CST 2006

namo nArAyaNAya!

dear shrI siddhArtha,

 let me mention at the outset that the dialogues with svAmi
chandrasekhara bhArati that you  quoted does not contain anything in
it that contradicts what i said. it has more do with upAsanA than
whether Ishvara's lokAs or rUpAs have any vyAvahArika sattA or not.
the gist of the entire dialogue is that brahman is the substratum of
everything. since both of us agree that Ishvara is non-different from
nirguNa brahman, there is nothing to discuss further regarding this.

On 11/30/06, Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy <annapureddy_at_gmail.com> wrote:
> Did I ever say that Ishvara is destroyed during praLaya?  The Ishvara who
> exists during praLaya (as well as at all other times)  FOR ME is the nirguNa
> brahma. But FOR YOU, it's shrI mahAviShNu in vaikunTha which is itself part
> of the vyAvahArika world.

i never said that mahAviShNu in vaikuNTha is the *only* form of
Ishvara or that it is this form which remains during pralaya. i guess
you are mixing up the vyAvahArika and pAramArthika views. it is
important to clearly differentiate between the two when discussing
about Ishvara. from the pAramArthika viewpoint (i.e. when talking of
nirguNa brahman), there is nothing like creation or dissolution or
Ishvara or jIva etc. and the present discussion is entirely
meaningless from that perspective. however, the moment you adopt the
vyAvahArika viewpoint, all enquiries are done with reference to saguNa
brahman only since nirguNa brahman has nothing to do with any

the Ishvara who exists during pralaya is saguNa brahman only, not
nirguNa brahman. ('existence' is nirguNa brahman.) saguNa brahman need
not always be with a name and form. what defines saguNatva is the
presence of a guNa. Ishvara is anAma and arUpa during pralaya, but
this does not imply that he is nirguNa. jagatkAraNatvAdi guNAs still
exist in a latent form in Ishvara during pralaya. thus, it is saguNa
brahman who remains without names and forms during pralaya and it is
saguNa brahman who manifests names and forms during sRShTi.

On 11/30/06, Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy <annapureddy_at_gmail.com> wrote:
> And this is what I am contesting. I am saying during praLaya, there is no
> entity or lOka which could remain unaffected, whereas you seem to say that
> shrI mahAviShNu and/or vaikunTha remain unaffected by any praLaya.

true, everything is withdrawn during pralaya, but that does not amount
to a destruction of the special rUpAs or lokAs of Ishvara since they
exist the subsequent creations also [1]. it is just that these are not
manifested during pralaya. will the limbs of a tortoise become
non-existent after they have been withdrawn? non-manifestation does
not amount to destruction. moreover, since all jIvAs are withdrawn, to
whom can the lokAs or forms be manifested?

since Ishvara was defined as jagadkAraNa and since all lokAs and rUpAs
are kAryAs, a clear understanding of the relation between kAraNa and
kArya in the context of sRShTi, pralaya etc. is absolutely necessary.
to clearly understand bhagavatpAda's views on this issue **please**
read AchArya's bhAShya for the bRhadAraNyaka shruti 'naiveha
ki~nchanAgra AsIt... ashanAyA hi mRtyuH..' (1.2.1). arguing along the
same lines should settle this issue once and for all. i'll quote the
relevant portions of the bhAShya here:

'...ataH siddhaH prAkkAryotpatteH kAraNasadbhAvaH',
'...asaMshchedbhaviShyadghaTa aishvarambhaviShyadghaTaviShayaM
pratyakShaj~nAnaM mithyA syAt.'
'...atha prAgutpatterghaTo.asannityuchyeta ....
ityasachChabdasyArthashchenna virudhyate',
'...tasmAtsadeva kAryaM prAgutpatteriti siddham.',
'...hiraNyagarbho mRtyuH. tena mRtyunedaM kAryamAvRtamAsIt. yathA
piNDAvasthayA mRdA ghaTAdaya AvRtAH syuriti tadvat.'

understanding the underlying import of this bR. up. bhAShya
(especially the portions '..asaMshched... mithyA syAt' and '...atha
prAgutpatteH... siddham') is crucial to understand [1]. it is in this
light that the special forms and lokAs are eternal. please also note
that the above shruti talks of the existence of kAraNa brahman
(identified with hiraNyagarbha) during pralaya. this is not a
reference to nirguNa brahman, but only to saguNa brahman.

On 11/30/06, Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy <annapureddy_at_gmail.com> wrote:
> Just to remove any confusion, I did not intend that your anumAna was some
> fanciful imagination. All I meant was that shaN^kara refers to nirguNa
> brahma in theistic terms very often, and this means that any reference to
> saguNa brahma could be easily interpreted to point to nirguNa brahma, and
> hence the confusion regarding the actual existence (in vyavahAra, of course)
> of such a saguNa entity and His lOkas.

it is true that AchArya uses terms like Ishvara, parameshvara etc.
when referring to the pratyagAtman. but that is not the *only* usage.
AchArya uses it with reference to saguNa brahman also. the gItA
bhAShya i quoted is clearly with reference to saguNa brahman only. let
me know how you would interpretet 'sa bhagavAn **sRShTvA** idaM jagat,
tasya cha sthitiM **chikIrShuH**... sa bhagavAn **AdikartA**
nArayaNAkhyaH..' etc. with reference to nirguNa brahman. (i reiterate,
nirguNa brahman has nothing to do with any vyavahAra.) the moment you
talk of sRShTi, pralaya etc., all references are only to saguNa
brahman (who is both sarUpa and arUpa).

regarding the actual existence of lokAs in vyavahAra, there is a whole
lot of smRtIs to support it. note that these saguNa mUrtIs are NOT
some jIvAs who have attained that position because of previous karma.
Ishvara, who is verily anAma and arUpa, Himself takes those forms (why
should He? i don't know. they say that's His svabhAva :) ). and He
doesn't lose His Ishvaratva by doing so. so, there's nothing wrong in
calling these special forms as Ishvara.

i guess it's time to put this thread to rest.

vAsudevaH sarvaM,

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