[Advaita-l] Questions on Mayavada by Krishna

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Sat Oct 2 06:35:23 CDT 2010


For the Padma Purana verses quoted by you (mayavadam asat sastram), no
advaita acharya has given any refutation. When I asked the question, the
scholars on this forum dismissed this verseoff  as an interpolation. It is
not possible to call it a gaudiya interpolation because even before gaudiyas
other sampradayas refer to prachanna bauddham and rudra sampandham of
sankara based on this verse. There are four recensions of Padma Purana
extant today. I have not been able to check the manuscripts personally but
learn that all of them contain Uttara Khanda where this occurs.

Leave this verse alone. The fundamental question is, "Is Lord's name, form,
qualities and lila absolute or relative?". It is a fundamental question
because you need to know as a devotee if you are attracted to relative or
absolute truth when worshipping Rama. According to gaudiyas, there is no
difference between the Lord and His body (abhinjnatva nama namine). Devoted
advaitins such as Madhusudana Saraswati also state that there is no
difference between the Lord and His body. (Rf. Sri Madhusudana's commentary
on ajo api san). Visvanath Chakravarthy Thakur, a gaudiya acharya, quotes
Sri Madhusudana respectfully in his commentary to the same verse. Sridhara
Swamin, claimed by advaitins and Vaishnavas both as their own, also
considers the body of the Lord is non-different from His soul. Though there
are such statements, the traditional advaita position is that  Isvara's
name, form, qualities and lila are mithya or products of maya. On
liberation, there is no maya or its effects such as Isvara's form and
activities - no devotion. This is why gaudiyas call them mayavadins though
advaitins call themselves brahmavadins. Yes, advaitins realize brahmanandam
(by Isvaranugraha!!!). But gaudiyas are more interested in relishing the
nama, rupa, guna and lila than relishing ananda bereft of Isvara's
attributes. They just dont want to relish that in this life until liberation
or as a mere means of liberation. They want to do it eternally (mama janmani
janmanisvare bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi) because they are attracted to
Rama and Krishna like a bee is attracted to the nectar in a flower or a
newly wed to her husband.. They dont want to be disturbed from this
absorption in the transcendental attributes of Isvara. When the Lord is
waiting to do your bidding, will you worry about liberation? For His
devotees, the Lord performs wonderful pastimes such as carrying foot wear,
riding chariot, dancing, playing flute, washing the feet, eating remnants,
fighting, advising, becoming a messenger, stealing butter, smiling
enchantingly etc. For such devotees, liberation is like hasthamalaka
because they are absorbed in sureshvara's padmapada glorifying Him with
perfect hymns in totaka. The Lord promises that His devotees will never
perish and He will swiftly deliver them.

Advaitins consider devotion to be relative transecended on realization of
nameless, formless, attributeless, actionless nirguna brahman. It is
interesting that Madhusudana Saraswati says that a jivan mukta is Vishnu
bhakta and so does Vidyaranya. Sadasiva Brahmendral, considered a jivan
mukta, sang chaste verses glorifying Rama, Krishna and Nirguna Brahman. But
the advaita position is that this bhakti in a jivan mukta is residual effect
of prarabda. Madusudana talks about samyama or a practice that removes karma
vasana but he himself did not let go of his deovtion to Krishna!!! Which
sane person would? Madhusudana distinguishes karma and bhakti, which is
perhaps why he did not get rid of bhakti.  He also describes three stages of
devotion. At the first stage a devotee thinks I am His (santa, dasya,
sakhya). In the second stage he realizes He is mine (sakhya, vatsalya,
madhurya) and in the final stage realizes I am He (madhurya). It is not that
"dualists" do not accept this stage of devotion in oneness. Baladev, a
gaudiya acharya, comments on a devotee realizing oneness (gopalaham). Rupa
Gosvami, another gaudiya acharya, talks about realization of nirguna

Krishna knows I am Brahman. Does Brahman know I am Krishna? As knowledge is
an aspect of maya, Brahman does not.

I am happy to be corrected.

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